Published: 2018-01-30 12:29
Last Updated: 2018-01-30 14:20
Saudi Arabian authorities released all detainees from Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel after three-month purge over corruption investigations, Saudi official told Reuters.
“There are no longer any detainees left at the Ritz-Carlton,” an official told Reuters, ending the three-month purge issued by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to fight corruption.
Some of the prisoners were reportedly moved from the hotel to prisons because they refused to admit wrongdoing, the official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not say how many suspects remained in detention in other locations in the Kingdom.
Dozens of Saudi public figures and businessmen were detained in November 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton by an anti-corruption committee launched by the Crown Prince.
The committee was given extensive powers to investigate cases, issue arrest orders and travel restrictions, as well as freeze assets.
Among the detainees were the billionaires Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Waleed al-Ibrahim who found the regional Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC). Both were released after reaching settlements with the government.
Alwaleed bin Talal made his first public appearance in an interview to Reuters on Friday before he was released on Saturday. He confirmed that he is going to be “cleared of any wrongdoing” and to “keep full control of his global investment firm Kingdom Holding Co 4280.SE without being required to give up assets to the government.”
Prince Alwaleed went in a tour in his suite in order to disprove the rumors that he had been sent to prison and tortured. He appeared grayer and thinner than he did in his last public appearance in late October.
Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion, said that he plans to stay in Saudi Arabia following his release.
“I will not leave Saudi Arabia, for sure. This is my country. I have my family, my children, my grandchildren here. I have my assets here. My allegiance is not on the table.”