Riyadh (November 8, 2017): The number of people arrested thus far in the crackdown against corrupt elites that begun Saturday has crossed 500.
Over 500 people have now been detained on allegations of corruption as part of the crackdown. Many are being held at Riyadh Ritz-Carlton in what may be the world’s most luxurious prison.
The Saudi Council of Ministers said Tuesday that all arrests were “based on specific evidence of criminality and acts that were intended criminal transgressions and resulted in unlawful gain.”
“The rights of the accused and the facts relating to the offenses are protected by law at all stages during the investigation and judicial process,” the council added.
However, the government had not disclosed any specific charges or evidence, or even the names of those arrested. The first wave began just hours after a royal decree created an investigating committee under Prince Mohammed, leaving little time for inquiry.
The courts are under the effective control of the king and crown prince. And it was unclear which branch of the court system might hear the cases- the main Shariah court system or the more specialized board of grievance courts that handle administrative complaints.
Quoting Saudi Attorney General Saud-ul-Mujib American newspaper New York Times said that the arrested people have been shifted to a hotel and they are being investigated. The details of the investigations are kept secret, he added.
The American authorities keeping an eye on those coming to and leaving the hotel told the newspaper that the hotel is housing over 500 people who have been arrested during the crackdown. The arrested are made to sleep on the floor, the sources added.