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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Prince Alwaleed supports Saudi's anti-corruption crackdown

In an interview with Bloomberg, Prince Alwaleed says his life is 'back to normal'

In this February 4, 2014 photo, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, waves as he arrives at the headquarters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Majdi Mohammed / AP
In this February 4, 2014 photo, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, waves as he arrives at the headquarters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Majdi Mohammed / AP

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said that he supported the kingdom’s sweeping crackdown on corruption in which he was detained along with more than 200 other high-profile figures.

“I am for the anti-corruption [crackdown] that took place in Saudi Arabia. Now, unfortunately, I was added to that group, but fortunately, I am out of it right now and life is back to normal,” he told Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker in an interview set to air on Tuesday.

“So, I am not a person who is going to come and say – you know – I forgive but don’t forget. I say ‘I forgive and I forget’ at the same time also.”

Prince Alwaleed, one of the country’s most prominent tycoons, was released late January after more than two months of detention at the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

Mr Schatzker said that Prince Alwaleed confirmed an agreement was reached between him and the Saudi government, the details of which have yet to be disclosed.

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Prince Alwaleed continued to maintain his innocence of any corruption, saying in an earlier interview with Reuters that his detention was a misunderstanding

He also has said that he expected to keep full control of his global investment firm Kingdom Holding and that he supported reform efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Directly or indirectly through Kingdom Holding, Prince Alwaleed holds stakes in firms, such as Twitter Inc and Citigroup Inc, and has invested in top hotels including the George V in Paris and the Plaza in New York. His net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at US$17 billion.

More than 200 royals, officials and businessmen were arrested in the probe in November last year as part of a crackdown launched by Crown Prince Mohammed to fight corruption in the country.