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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, April 23, 2018

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Saudi seeks extradition of suspects in corruption crackdown

Extradition for corruption?

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - As part of its crackdown on corruption, now, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has stated that he will pursue extradition for corruption suspects living abroad.

The crackdown launched two months back has already netted princes and tycoons.

In an interview with Arrajol magazine, Saud al-Muajab said that evidence is being collected against “fugitives” in order to issue indictments against them and request that foreign governments return them to the kingdom.

So far, however, officials have not revealed how many people are being targeted, or in which countries.

Last month, Muajab said that most detainees had agreed to settlements in order to avoid prosecution.

He had added that the rest could be held for several more months.

On Saturday, the magazine quoted him as saying that those who end up in court will be permitted to hire lawyers to defend them during the investigation and trial phases.

Based on orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi security forces have rounded up dozens of members of the political and business elite, holding them in Riyadh’s opulent Ritz Carlton hotel.

The decision was however criticized as a war on rampant corruption and was widely seen by analysts as helping Prince Mohammed consolidate his grip on power.

Prince Mohammed attained the position after ousting his cousin as heir to the throne in the summer.

Currently, reports noted that Saudi officials are negotiating settlements with detainees, and have said that they aim to claw back some $100 billion of funds that rightfully belong to the state.

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