Facts vs fake news: The reality behind recent developments in Saudi Arabia

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Numerous fake news have surfaced recently across news and social media related to developments in Saudi Arabia. Some of these emanate from Qatari and Lebanese media sources while others are from international outlets quoting unknown sources.

Following are the top 9 fake news in circulation. However, facts as Al Arabiya English gathered, point to a different direction:

1) Saad Hariri’s movements are restricted in Saudi Arabia and that even he is under investigation.

The fact is Hariri, has been ‘free to move around’ as confirmed by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Europe 1 radio.

Earlier, Hariri was received by King Salman and he also met Western ambassadors. He even travelled to Abu Dhabi and met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

2) Hariri’s plane returned to Beirut from Riyadh without him.

The plane did not visit Riyadh at all, but returned directly from France.

3) Guards confiscated the phones of Hariri and his aides from inside his private plane when they landed in Riyadh.

Hariri traveled to Riyadh on a regular flight in a commercial plane.

4) That the bank accounts of around 2,000 people has been frozen.

The number of those who are being questioned have been put couple of hundreds, as per the statement of the Attorney General.

5) Around 500 people were arrested.

The Attorney General, in his statement on Thursday, announced that 208 people were being questioned, while seven of them have been released.

6) The amount of money involved in the corruption investigation is up to $2 trillion.

The amount is about $100 billion, according to the Attorney General.

7) Hundreds of private companies were seized and their employees were terminated.

Business is continuing as usual and only personal accounts were suspended, according to the Attorney General’s statement.

8) Saudi stock market has collapsed.

On the contrary, the market witnessed a rise and reacted positively to the anti-corruption drive and the promotion of the values of transparency.

9) What is going on is a power struggle.

There is a total consensus in the Kingdom and there is absolutely no challenge to the current establishment and power structure.

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