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Saudi Arabia: 55 years in prison and fines for corruption charges

November 20, 2019 at 4:00 am

A court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 16 May 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced on Tuesday the issuance of prison sentences, which exceeded 55 years, and fines of more than 4 million Saudi riyals against 18 individuals on corruption charges, including officials, employees and some commercial companies.

The Saudi public prosecution said in a statement on Tuesday that it “had summoned 18 people accused of corruption to an investigation, including officials, employees and some commercial companies.”

The statement added that the public prosecution has investigated and presented 726 overwhelming evidence to endorse the prosecution and conviction procedures, in addition to demanding the judiciary to issue the most severe penalties against the defendants. The public prosecution’s efforts led to the issuance of a series of sentences, which included the conviction of the defendants with the listed charges, sentencing the perpetrators to a total of more than 55 years in prison and fines of more than 4 million Saudi riyals.

The statement pointed out that “among those convicted in the corruption cases, a government official, holding an executive position, who received bribes in the form of cash and benefits from a businessman. The official, who has been accused of breaching professional duty and integrity codes, exploiting his position to exert corruption, and participating in fraud operations, received a 16-year prison sentence, in addition to being fined.

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According to the statement, several employees have collaborated with the government official in committing the crimes mentioned above, exploiting their positions and influence to their interests. The employees were sentenced to prison and fined according to various convictions on charges listed by the public prosecution against them, in addition to confiscating the properties of some of them.

The statement indicated that the “a businessman had been convicted of bribing public officials directly and through his company and employees, to incite them to violate professional duty and integrity codes of public service, in addition to being accused of carrying illegal commercial activities, fraud and forging official documents. The defendant was fined and received a whole 16 years in prison.”

The convicted businessman’s employees were also sentenced to prison and fined for their conviction for several crimes.

According to the statement, the sentences were extended, as requested by the Public Prosecution, to several commercial companies; i.e. fining and depriving them of contracting with any public authority for a limited period per the relevant penal regulations.