Saudi princes and officials who were arrested in the Kingdom’s mass purge could face trial and jail terms at the Kingdom’s maximum security prison, Al-Ha’ir, if they do not give up their financial assets, the Wall Street Journal quoted a Saudi source as saying.
“Some detainees have succumbed to pressure and could be released on probation and imposed house arrest until funds are transferred from their accounts,” the paper said.
According to the newspaper, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who leads the anti-corruption campaign is personally supervising the negotiations with the detainees and has become a regular visitor to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh where they are being held.
“Bin Salman travels with a few trusted advisers and spends several hours in each visit, according to a Saudi official,” the paper said.
According to Saudi sources, the Crown Prince has been negotiating with the detainees at the Ritz-Carlton for two weeks to give up most of their wealth in exchange for their freedom.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the commission of inquiry wants about 70 per cent of the detainees’ wealth noting that more than 2,000 accounts have been frozen so far.”
The newspaper said that “a large part of the detainees’ wealth is in accounts outside the country, making it difficult for the Saudi authorities to confiscate them through legal channels.”
Last week, the US Department of the Treasury said it was following closely the deal Saudi authorities had offered to princes and businessmen arrested earlier this month on charges of corruption.
Earlier, the British Financial Times reported that the deals with the princes were likely to include pledges of allegiance to Bin Salman.