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Saudi attorney general says royal arrests are 'Phase One' of anti-corruption campaign

The arrests of the VIP Saudis has shocked the country [AFP]

Date of publication: 6 November, 2017

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This weekend's mass arrests of Saudi royals and officials is part of a wider anti-corruption campaign in the kingdom, the country's attorney general has said.
Saudi Arabia's attorney general has said the weekend purge of leading royals, ministers and businessmen is "phase one" of a wider anti-corruption campaign in the kingdom.

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb claims the arrests follow the establishment of a new anti-corruption body, which was set up hours before Saturday night's purge of the princes.

He said the arrests were just the start of the agency's mission to weed out graft in the country.

"Yesterday does not represent the start, but the completion of Phase One of our anti-corruption push," a statement by Mojeb, published by Reuters, read.

He said the interrogation of the 11 princes arrested and other leading figures had led to "a great deal of evidence" being uncovered.

The probe was being made quietly "in order to preserve the integrity of the legal proceedings and ensure there was no flight from justice".

Saudi media announced the arrests of key Saudi figures -including billionaire businessman al-Waleed bin Talal - during overnight raids on Saturday night.

Riyadh has claimed these are part of investigations into rampant corruption in the kingdom, although most analysts view it as a purge by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of potential rivals.

Saudi Arabia also frozen the bank accounts of those arrested and imposed flight bans on private jets without permits, Reuters reported.

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