Saudi Arabia used abuse to seize billions during purge

Yolanda Curtis
March 13, 2018

HRH Prime Minister also extended sympathies to HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia.

At least 17 Saudi detainees were subjected to physical abuse during what was termed an anti-corruption campaign that saw the arrest of hundreds of prominent businessmen and princes in November, the New York Times has found.

The announcement comes as a New York Times report has suggested that numerous assets of the 381 princes, ministers and tycoons have yet to be seized while more than a dozen of the detainees were abused while they were held.

In one case, Maj.

The powerful crown prince, who has consolidated his grip on various sectors in Saudi Arabia since his appointment in June, is overseeing the kingdom's plan to sell under five percent of the state-owned oil giant.

"We signed away everything", a relative of a former detainee, said. Gen. Ali al-Qahtani, an officer in the Saudi National Guard, was found to have his neck twisted unnaturally and his body bruised and badly swollen.

Some people in the energy industry say that Aramco could face pressure from investors because the company has not gone through the cost-cutting that western oil companies, like Exxon Mobil, have undertaken in recent years. His skin showed burn marks that appeared to be from electric shocks, the Times said.

Saudi officials approached by the Times over the allegation said: "All allegations of abuse and torture of those investigated during the anti-corruption proceedings are absolutely untrue". "All those under investigation had full access to legal counsel in addition to medical care to address pre-existing, chronic conditions". The members of King Abdullah's family are seen as rivals of Crown Prince Mohammed and his father, King Salman.

He was returned to the hotel for further interrogation, and later pronounced dead at a military hospital.

Even Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's wealthiest men, was locked up at the Ritz, according to the newspaper.

Other reports by iNewsToday