Saudi Arab

Saudi Detainees Who Didn’t Settle May Face Terrorism-Focused Courts: Report

Dozens of Saudi detainees caught up in November’s so-called anti-graft crackdown could be referred to courts specialized in cases of national security and terrorism, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Sunday.

They include individuals who refused to agree to confidential settlements with the government, and others believed to be guilty of “a greater offence”, the pan-Arab daily quoted Saudi Arabia’s deputy attorney-general Saud al-Hamad as saying.

“Each of these cases will be dealt with separately. Some will be examined by departments specialized in money laundering, while others will be referred to courts specialized in issues of national security and terrorism,” Hamad said.

In November, 381 Saudi royals, ministers and tycoons were detained in an anti-corruption crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said in January that the majority had been released after agreeing to financial settlements totaling over 400 billion riyals ($107 bn) in various forms of assets and cash.

To date, 56 people are known to remain in custody, their whereabouts unknown since the initial holding place – the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton – was re-opened on Feb. 11.

Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor general has launched fresh investigations and judicial proceedings against those detainees, Asharq al-Awsat said, quoting the deputy attorney-general.

“Depending on the result, the investigation will be referred to the relevant court,” Hamad said.

Saudi King Salman in March ordered the creation of specialized “anti-corruption” units to investigate and prosecute graft cases.

Officials have not made public the charges against suspects detained at the Ritz-Carlton.

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