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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Saudi minister returns to cabinet duties

Ibrahim Al Assaf was back at work  on Tuesday after being cleared by corruption investigators

Ibrahim Al Assaf, a Saudi minister who was among those arrested in November in an anti-graft drive, was pictured attending a cabinet session on Tuesday. Charles Crowell / Bloomberg
Ibrahim Al Assaf, a Saudi minister who was among those arrested in November in an anti-graft drive, was pictured attending a cabinet session on Tuesday. Charles Crowell / Bloomberg

Saudi state minister Ibrahim Al Assaf attended a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, almost two months after he was reported to have been detained in a crackdown on corruption.

On its Twitter account, the Saudi Press Agency posted pictures of Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Mr Assaf at the meeting.

Saudi news site Sabq said that Mr Assaf "resumed work" on Tuesday after being "found innocent" and leaving the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

“Investigators concluded that none of the reports received during his tenure as minister of finance was true and therefore he was found innocent and allowed to leave the hotel,” Sabq said.

“This proves that the leadership was prudent in its approach, did not rush into making decisions, was committed to justice and applied the law.”

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Mr Assaf, a minister of state and a former finance minister, was among more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen rounded up in November in an anti-corruption purge.

Most of those detained were held at the palatial hotel.

The purge came after the crown prince was named by King Salman as the head of an anti-corruption commission, allowing him to oversee the return of billions that had been siphoned off over years.