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‘No special treatment to corruption suspects’, says Saudi attorney general

Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb on Sunday said that the government and private officials recently detained over corruption charges will not get special treatment because of their statuses.

According to a Saudi Newspaper, Mojeb said the newly-formed anti-corruption body of the Kingdom is undertaking its measures in accordance with the law.

He pledged a ‘firm application of justice’ after an anti-corruption sweep that reportedly saw the arrests of dozens of senior figures including princes, ministers and a top business tycoon.

“The suspects are being granted the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen. A suspect’s position or status does not influence the firm and fair application of justice,” the attorney general added in a statement released by the information ministry.

“There is an independent judicial process underway, which will be fully respected,” he declared, adding that everyone was presumed innocent until proven guilty, and everyone’s legal rights would be preserved.

“These actions were taken as a result of widespread consultations among the committee’s relevant bodies that comprise the heads of the National Anti-Corruption Commission; the Control and Investigation Board; the General Auditing Bureau; as well as the Attorney General at the Public Prosecutor’s Office; and the head of the Presidency of State Security. Committee membership stretches across all relevant government offices to ensure proper checks and balances,” he said further.

“This is part of an overhaul to ensure transparency, openness and good governance,” concluded the statement.

It is apropos to highlight here that Saudi authorities detained 11 princes, four current ministers and dozens of former ministers as part of its anti-corruption campaign, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported on Sunday.

Arabiya said 11 princes and dozens of former ministers had been detained through a new anti-corruption committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which was formed by royal decree on Saturday. The suspects were not named.

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