First phase of anti-corruption drive to be over within few weeks: Saudi attorney general

159 detained for corruption; bank accounts of 376 frozen

December 05, 2017
Sheikh Saud Bin Abdullah Al-Muajab
Sheikh Saud Bin Abdullah Al-Muajab

Saudi Gazette report

— The Saudi Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee summoned 320 persons with the addition of others after first investigations began on Nov. 9 based on the information provided by the detainees, according to Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Muajab, a member of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee.

The anti-corruption committee referred a number of arrested individuals to the Public Prosecution office. The number of detainees to date stands at 159.

Bank accounts of 376 individuals have been frozen. All of these individuals are either detainees or linked to their corruption charges.

“Most of those who have been confronted with corruption charges against them by the committee have agreed to a settlement and the necessary procedures are being completed,” the attorney general said in a statement.

“The Public Prosecution examined the files of those referred to it in accordance with the relevant legal procedures and decided to detain a limited number of them and released the rest,” the statement added.

The Attorney General confirmed that all assets or corporate entities of those detained, and any rights of any other parties related to such assets or corporate entities shall not be affected or disrupted, and all measures to ensure the same have been taken.

The first phase of negotiations and settlements is expected to be finished within a few weeks, the attorney general said.

The Committee has followed internationally applied procedures by negotiating with the detainees and offering them a settlement that will facilitate recouping the State's funds and assets, and eliminate the need for a prolonged litigation.

During this period all detainees are allowed to contact whomever they wish to contact. No detainee will be pressured in any shape or form, and each detainee has the right to refuse to settle at anytime before the settlement agreement is signed.

Each detainee, during this phase, is informed of the allegations against him. If he admits to the allegations, freely and without coercion, an agreement is reached with him for a settlement in exchange for a recommendation by the Committee to issue a pardon, and end the criminal litigation. A settlement agreement to this effect is drafted and executed.

Should a detainee deny the allegations against him or a settlement is not reached, he will be transferred to the Public Prosecution office.

In the second phase, cases are transferred to Public Prosecution which reviews the case of each individual transferred to it by the Committee.

“It investigates the relevant crime and presents the suspect with the evidence and available information concerning his corruption crimes. This is done in accordance with investigation procedures set forth in the Law of Criminal Procedures.”

An appropriate detention period is determined. If the evidence justifies detention, then it will be decided according to the relevant laws. Detention of up to six months can be decided by the Attorney General. If warranted, the relevant court can order an extension of the detention period.

If the investigation concludes that the evidence against the detainee is insufficient for the case to proceed, the Public Prosecution office will release the individual. Otherwise the individual will be prosecuted according to the relevant procedures.

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