Saudi Arabia yesterday denied that the princes and former ministers who were arrested in recent hours in an anti-corruption probe received special treatment because of their titles.
"The suspects have the same rights and same treatment as any Saudi citizen," Public Prosecutor Sheikh Saud Al-Ajab said in a statement, adding that the suspect's position or title will not affect the administration of justice.
Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption committee, which was formed on Saturday by a royal order and is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has ordered the detention of 11 princes and dozens of former ministers and to reopen investigations into the deadly floods which swept parts of the city of Jeddah in 2009 and the Saudi government's response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed hundreds of people in the past few years.
The princes include billionaire and prominent Saudi investor, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, dismissed Minister of National Guard, Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah, and the former head of the Meteorology, Turki Bin Nasser, and former Prince of Riyadh, Turki Bin Abdullah.
The evacuation of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, located on Mekkah-Riyadh road stirred speculations that it had been transformed into a prison for the detained royals.
Twitter users said the evacuation took place at 23:00, nearly ten hours before the royal orders.