War on corruption and rule of law

Hussein Shobokshi

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The world is following with great interest the consequences of the war on corruption that has been unleashed in Saudi Arabia. However, there seems to be widespread confusion caused by the informal “news” that is being circulated against those who are under arrest and are being investigated.

This is contrary to the official approach, which is committed to the public without clarifications or disclosure of names. These momentous events present us a great opportunity to establish the rule of law and build institutions by giving the judiciary a chance to establish a fair and proper system of litigation wherein cases are adjudicated on the basis on their merits not on the popular sentiment.

The indicted defendant is not innocent and therefore the accused is innocent until proven guilty which is a basic tenet in the criminal justice system globally. It is very important that things take their natural legal course so that all judgments have the credibility and integrity, rather than being influenced by the desire to please some quarters. Justice never means revenge.

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It is absolutely essential that there should be real, proper and fair exploitation of this historic opportunity to rein in corruption. We must give it a decisive and powerful blow so that people will never dare to take any step in the path of pernicious corruption. They will think thousand times about the consequences of the disgraceful act.

The hope is that the war on corruption will be a relentless war without mercy, stamping out the spoiled and rotten system. There are structural organs within some official bodies, the most important of which are the Ministry of Finance, the monetary institutions and the banks, which have provided the ideal environment for corruption.

The hope is that the war on corruption will be a relentless war without mercy, stamping out the spoiled and rotten system

Hussein Shobokshi

Blatant excesses

These bodies have been indulging in all kinds of corrupt practices for years without being subjected to any kind of punishment. They have been carrying out blatant excesses and illogical transactions.

These events offer us a historic and unprecedented opportunity for the administrative transition from the decision stage to the establishment of a state of law and the state of institutions supporting the law so that there is a system of justice wherein everyone deserves all the principles of impartial investigation and fair trial and the opportunity to appeal properly.

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When all these factors and elements are taken into account while carrying out the mission, there will be no loophole left where injustice or double standards can be applied in dealing with any corruption issue. The war on corruption is a battle Saudi Arabia waged in an unprecedented manner and its effects will reach the Arab world without any exception.

But at the same time, it is very important to recommend the spirit of justice and the legal institutions that guarantee it and to show their roles clearly so that everyone can be rest assured that all they dreamed of a vicious war on corruption has been achieved and succeeded in ensuring the institutions and the judiciary and the law and these demands are vital and important and agreed upon by all without exception.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on November 27, 2017.
Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.

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