The mass weekend arrests by Saudi Arabia could be due to both the stated purpose of cracking down on corruption and a power grab by the kingdom’s young, reform-minded crown prince who may soon take the throne, said Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to the kingdom.
On Saturday, 11 princes, including well-known billionaire investor Alwaleed bin Talal, and four ministers, including the one in charge of the National Guard, were arrested, according to various reports, along with a number of former ministers.
MDC says, Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Prince Alwaleed ‘would be like arresting Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, or Bill Gates’ in the United States. Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding has major stakes in Fox, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies, as well as several satellite television networks that are prominent in the Arab world.
We would also like to add that our Duffus POTUS commented in tweets Monday evening, President Trump appeared to endorse Saudi Arabian King Salman’sto remove a prince who headed the National Guard and create a new “anti-corruption” committee on Saturday.
“I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing….” the president tweeted.
He completed the statement with a second tweet.
“….Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!” he wrote. MDC would like to add, Trump acts like a dictator and basically endorsed a dictator’s executive decision move.
The arrests happened hours after King Salman created an anti-corruption committee chaired by his 32-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. MBS, as the crown prince is known, could become king later this year or in early 2018 when his 81-year-old father abdicates the throne.
At 11pm on Saturday, guests at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh got a rude awakening. Businesspeople and consultants who were staying in one of Riyadh’s most opulent digs, along with diners and visitors, were all told to assemble in the lobby with their bags. No one knew why.
As guests made their way to buses to be taken to other hotels in the Saudi capital, senior officials were making plans for new arrivals who weren’t prepared for a night away from home, let alone a spell in a five-star hotel. They were soon to become the highest-profile prisoners in the modern kingdom’s history. And the most pampered.
From midnight, buses arrived in the sprawling complex disgorging princes, business leaders, other royals, their guards and their captors. The arrivals marked the start of an extraordinary episode that exposed the kingdom’s elite to rare public scrutiny and showed that, even when accused of high crime, the powerful maintain privileges.
By dawn on Sunday, more than 30 of Saudi Arabia’s most senior figures, among them blood relatives of senior rulers, were locked inside the hotel, accused of corruption. Their ignominious arrests were the talk of the country, and so too was the fact that they were far from a prison cell, where most citizens facing similar charges could expect to find themselves.