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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Saudi Prince Miteb 'released' from detention over corruption investigation

Prince Miteb was sacked on November 4 as the head of the national guard and detained along with dozens of government officials and businessmen.

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was detained as part of an anti-corruption sweep. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was detained as part of an anti-corruption sweep. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah has been freed after more than three weeks in detention as part of an anti-corruption sweep, royal family members said.

Prince Miteb was sacked on November 4 as the head of the national guard and detained along with dozens of government officials and businessmen.

"Almighty, thanks be to you …," Abeer bint Khaled bin Abdullah, a royal family member, said on Twitter. "May God give you long life, long life full of health, and keep you for us."

Reuters reported that Moaid Mahjoob, who identifies himself as director of external relations for Princess Jawahar Al Saud, said Prince Miteb "had been released and that he was at his home in Riyadh".

Another royal family member, Princes Nouf bint Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud, also posted a similar message, writing over a photo of Prince Miteb: "May you be safe for us, Abu Abdullah."

A series of decrees announced Prince Miteb’s dismissal and the establishment of an anti-corruption committee led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prince Miteb was one of the most prominent of the high profile officials detained. He is the son of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and once was thought to be a possible contender for the throne.

Others included billionaire tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the former finance minister Ibrahim Al Assaf.

More than 200 businessmen and officials have been held at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. The BBC reported that most of the high-ranking detainees are proposing to pay back a "substantial" proportion of their allegedly ill-gotten gains in exchange for their freedom.

A special Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption is investigating all charges against the detained officials. Their personal bank accounts have been frozen.

The Saudi attorney general, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb, said the arrests were the culmination of three years' work by the committee.