RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – The Latest on Saudi Arabia, where dozens of princes and former ministers have been arrested as authorities announce an anti-corruption drive (all times local):
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained in a large anti-corruption sweep targeting dozens of senior princes and government ministers.
FILE – In this July, 23, 2017 file photo, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman poses while meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Saturday, Nov. 11 2017, removed a prominent prince who headed the National Guard, replaced the economy minister and announced the creation of a new anti-corruption committee. (Presidency Press Service/Pool Photo via AP, File)
A high-level employee of the King Holding Company, which Prince Alwaleed chairs, told The Associated Press that the royal had been among those detained overnight Saturday. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of repercussions.
Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East’s richest people, with investments in Twitter, Apple, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, Citigroup, the Four Seasons hotel chains and most recently in ride sharing service Lyft.
He’s also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for greater women’s rights. He is also majority owner of the popular Rotana Group of Arabic channels.
The government has so far only announced that an anti-corruption probe was launched, with state-linked media reporting that dozens of princes and ministers were detained without releasing their names.
– Aya Batrawy and Abdullah al-Shihri
Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrested 11 princes and dozens of former government ministers as it announces a new anti-corruption campaign, further cementing King Salman and his crown prince son’s control of the kingdom.
The arrests late Saturday, as well as the king’s removal of a prominent prince in charge of the National Guard, came as Lebanon’s prime minister, a close Saudi ally, announced his own resignation from the Saudi capital only hours earlier.
The moves further shake up Saudi Arabia and the greater Middle East as regional conflicts still rage around the kingdom. Shiite rebels in Yemen, the target of a 2 ½ year Saudi-led military campaign, fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh’s international airport on Saturday night.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news channel reported the arrests late Saturday of 11 princes and dozens of former ministers.
FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2008 file photo, Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, leaves the equestrian club following a horse racing competition in Janadriyah in the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The king ousted one of the country’s highest-level royals from power, relieving Prince Miteb bin Abdullah of his post as head of the National Guard. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2008 file photo, Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, salutes as leaves the equestrian club following a horse racing competition in Janadriyah in the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The king ousted one of the country’s highest-level royals from power, relieving Prince Miteb bin Abdullah of his post as head of the National Guard. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
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