Saudi prince accused of corruption freed in $1.3b deal

30 Novembre, 2017, 12:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah has been released after being detained for three weeks as part of a sweeping "anti-corruption" drive in the country, officials said.

Saudi information ministry officials could not confirm the development but posts on social media by members of the royal family suggested he had been freed.

The 65-year-old son of the late King Abdullah was the most politically influential royal detained under the orders of a newly-formed anti-corruption committee headed by his 32-year-old cousin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Tuesday, Prince Miteb was released after reaching "an acceptable settlement agreement", the official said, according to Reuters.

Some analysts saw Prince Miteb's removal as an attempt by Prince Mohammed, who is also Saudi defence minister, to consolidate his control over the security services.

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An unnamed Saudi Official told Bloomberg News he had agreed to pay $1b ($A1.3b) in a "settlement deal' with authorities".

The fate of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding and one of Saudi Arabia's most prominent global businessmen, was not known.

Saudi Arabia's attorney general estimates at least $100 billion has been misused in embezzlement or corruption over several decades.

The purge has triggered uncertainty among businesses that could lead to capital flight or derail reforms, experts say, at a time when the kingdom is seeking to attract badly needed investments to offset a protracted oil slump.

He was reportedly held at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh along with his brother Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a former Governor of Riyadh province, the BBC reported.

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