Ex-Saudi minister faces investigation after his ‘unqualified’ son gets top job

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The Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) has found that former Saudi Minister of State for Civil Service Khaled al-Araj assigned his son Abdullah a job for a monthly salary of 21,600 SAR ($5,750) shortly after he became a minister.

Nazaha said in its report that “the irregular employment of a minister’s son” helped it discover several contractual violations in a number of ministries.

An investigation found that Abdullah was not qualified for the job his father had placed him in.

Law expert Colonel Falah al-Jaad, the Director of Military Provisions at the national guard ministry, explained to Al-Arabiya.net the judicial process through which former Araj will be investigated.

Jaad said that an investigation commission consisting of two ministers and another legitimate member who holds the rank of head of a grand court will be formed. The commission will then submit its report to the prime minister within 30 days. The prime minister will then schedule a session to discuss the report within 15 days of receiving it and a decision will be taken accordingly. The minister being investigated will not attend the session.

“If it’s proven that the minister committed violations, he will be transferred for trial. According to the system of trying ministers, anyone who exploits his post will face a prison sentence that ranges between 3 to 10 years,” Jaad added.

The committee that tries the minister will be formed of three ministers and two legitimate members who hold the rank of a chief of a grand court or higher. The three ministers are chosen by the cabinet through casting lots. None of the committee members should be related to the defendant. The oldest minister acts as the head of the trial committee.

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