Seven of the 208 accused of corruption have been released, according to a statement by the Attorney-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the latest development related to the action initiated by the recently instituted High Commission against Corruption.
Sheikh Saud Al Moaajeb, Attorney General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and member of the Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption, said on Thursday that the investigations of the individuals who have been summoned are proceeding rapidly and updates will be provided.
The Attorney General said that “the number of persons arrested was 208, while seven were released, for lack of sufficient evidence.”
Earlier on Thursday, Saudi Arabia also announced a new list of people suspected of corruption.
Funds were frozen, with arrests also involving managers and officials of government and judicial institutions.
Sheikh Saud said “the financial value of these decades-long practices amounts to very large amount of misappropriated and unutilized public funds, and the potential value of these amounts may exceed $100 billion, according to initial investigations.”
Further evidence to substantiate the facts in these cases will continue to be collected he said, and “as announced on Tuesday, the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) has accepted my request to freeze their personal assets in this investigation. This action confirms the findings of our preliminary investigation over the past three years on the scale of these corrupt and large practices.”
Next stage of investigations
Sheikh Saud made it clear that “given the magnitude of these charges, under the Royal Order of 4 November, there is a clear legal mandate to move to the next stage of investigations with the suspects, and there is a great deal of speculation around the world about the identities of the individuals concerned and the details of the charges against them. However, we will not disclose any details at this time, to ensure that they enjoy the full legal rights granted to them by the Kingdom, and ask to respect their privacy while undergoing judicial proceedings.”
However, he said normal commercial activity in the Kingdom will not be affected by these investigations. “Only personal bank accounts were frozen, and companies and banks have the freedom to continue transactions and transfers as usual, something that the official authorities in the Kingdom had pointed out and reiterated.”
The work of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is within a clear legal and institutional framework to maintain transparency and integrity in the Saudi market.