What’s next for Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption probe?

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As the first steps have come to an end, Saudi Arabia’s High Commission against Corruption is negotiating any future settlements especially after the release of several detainees in recent days.

In a previous statement issued a month ago, Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb had expressed that the majority of those who had been confronted with corruption charges have pleaded guilty and accepted settlement pleas.

Accepting the settlement agreement

The Committee pointed out in its previous statement that in the absence of a settlement or if the detainees pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, they would be referred to the Public Prosecution to complete the legal proceedings against them, stressing the absence of coercion or anything else to force the detainee to accept the settlement.

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The second step will be to reach a settlement that would pay the state against a recommendation of amnesty and putting an end to the criminal case, and the third step is the signing of the settlement agreement. The detainees have the right to reject the settlement at any time as long as they have not signed anything yet, a statement from the public prosecutor’s office said.

Referral to the Public Prosecution

After the settlement phase is over and it is almost over since the government is urgently seeking to close the file of those who wish to end their outstanding issues with the government, the work of the anti-corruption committee will enter a new phase, referring the detainees to the public prosecution.

The Public Prosecutor's Office will examine the cases of those referred to it by the Committee and complete the legal procedures against them, including continuing the investigation on the accused and confronting him with evidence and proof.

As a next step, the order to suspend the accused shall be decided upon. If the evidence suggests that he is a flight risk, then he shall be put in custody in accordance with the prescribed periods of up to six months in respect to the powers of the Attorney General.

The last step at this stage is either that the Public Prosecutor's Office releases the accused once the investigation has been completed, because there isn’t any sufficient evidence against him and that there is no basis for prosecution, or that the case is brought against him in accordance with the established procedures.

Guaranteeing their rights

It should be noted that the Code of Criminal Procedure provides the accused with a number of rights, including but not limited to the right to be assisted by an agent or lawyer in the investigation and trial stages, the right to communicate with a person who wants to inform him of his arrest and the right not to be detained for more than six months except by a decision of the competent court, and that it is prohibited to physically torture him or degrade him, contrary to what some media outlets have reported that detainees are subjected to torture and physical abuse.

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