Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has addressed accusations that the anti-corruption campaign launched in the kingdom last year was a move to consolidate power.
A three-month-old probe, in which dozens of top officials and businessmen were detained by investigators, closed with some $100 billion in illicit assets seized.
Speaking in his first interview with a US media outlet, Prince Mohammed was asked by CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell whether it was a power grab.
He responded: “If I have the power and the King has the power to take action against influential people, then you are already fundamentally strong. These are naïve accusations.”
Asked how much money was retrieved, Prince Mohammed said: “The amount exceeds $100 billion, but the real objective was not this amount or any other amount. The idea is not to get money, but to punish the corrupt and send a clear signal that whoever engages in corrupt deals will face the law.”