Saudi Arabia: Corruption Crackdown Moves One Prince to a Harsher Prison

Jan 15, 2018 | 19:21 GMT

(Stratfor 2018)

Saudi Arabia is taking its anti-corruption crackdown seriously. Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was transferred to the maximum security al-Ha'ir Prison on Jan. 13, where several al Qaeda and Islamic State suspects are also held. It's a marked change in venue: Bin Talal was previously confined at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Reports have emerged that bin Talal had made a counteroffer of unspecified terms for his release, rumored to involve him offering assets of his choosing. But Saudi Arabia's attorney general turned him down, and now bin Talal will remain in al-Ha'ir until the next round of negotiations. Bin Talal is the highest profile holdout from the initial November crackdown. But recent additions to the ranks of prisoners prove that the Saudi government isn't done targeting its royals as it cracks down on long-practiced corruption and reworks the country's wasta, or social influence networks, in favor of...

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