King Salman’s sacking of top Saudi officials proves ‘no one is above law’

Time: 02 September 2020

The monarch on Monday issued a royal decree ordering the dismissal of Saudi Commander of the Joint Forces in Yemen Lt. Gen. Fahad bin Turki bin Abdul Aziz. (SPA)
  • Saudi lawyers laud monarch’s royal decree, tough stance against corruption in Kingdom

JEDDAH: Saudi lawyers on Tuesday lauded King Salman’s sacking of two high-ranking officials as part of an anti-corruption drive that proved “no one was above the law.”

The monarch on Monday issued a royal decree ordering the dismissal of Saudi Commander of the Joint Forces in Yemen Lt. Gen. Fahad bin Turki bin Abdul Aziz and Jouf Deputy Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahad bin Turki bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and the launch of a corruption probe.

He also placed under investigation a number of officers, civil officials, and others based on a referral from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) to look into what the decree described as “suspicious financial dealings monitored at the Ministry of Defense.”

According to the king’s decree, Nazaha “disclosed financial corruption” at the ministry linked to the military chief and the prince.

Saudi lawyer Abdullah Al-Khatib told Arab News that Nazaha would complete legal procedures against the accused.

“One of the authority’s main objectives is to provide direct communication channels with the public to receive their reports related to corrupt behaviors, verify their validity and take the necessary actions in this regard, following the approach of our wise leadership to achieve justice in society and eliminate corruption in all its forms,” he said.

Legal consultant, Majed Garoub, said: “This action is a clearer confirmation to a recent decision where governors of the Red Sea coastal cities of Umluj and Al-Wajh, the head of border security, and other local commanders, as well as officials from the Ministry of Interior have been sacked over corruption at tourism projects; most of them were referred to by their names and job titles.

“Everyone should know that only attempting to be involved in a corrupt action is a crime by itself and is punishable by law. This is to confirm that whoever plans, plots, conceals, and initiates the crime, his punishment is no less than those who commit the full crime of financial corruption, including bribery, mediation, and abuse of influence,” he added.

Garoub pointed out that the king’s decree had targeted high-ranking officials and members of the Saudi royal family, sending out a clear message that no one in the Kingdom was above the law.

“The interest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its wealth is for the public interest, the country and the citizens, and not for the corrupt to benefit from them unlawfully.

“This is to uproot corruption from Saudi thought, culture, and conscience, and to remind everyone who thinks that they can safely continue in their corruption that social status and governmental position can no longer prevail over the law,” he said.

Another lawyer, Njood Al-Qassim, noted that corruption covered crimes including bribery and trading in influence, abuse of power, illicit enrichment, manipulation, embezzlement, squandering or abuse of public money, money laundering, accounting and commercial fraud, forgery, and currency counterfeiting.

“Therefore, the national integrity and anti-corruption strategy has focused on verifying and investigating all those found guilty and those related to these violations, completing the statutory procedures, taking the necessary measures in this regard, and raising results to the higher responsible authorities.

“No one is above the law according to the policy and vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” she said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi anti-corruption authority probes 218 cases

Time: 11 August, 2020

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Control and Anti- Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has initiated 218 criminal cases in different sectors.

According to a report posted on its official Twitter account, the cases are related to fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption.

One of the cases involves the arrest of a businessman in the Eastern Province and 10 citizens, including a current member of the Shoura Council, a former judge,

a current notary, a former bank employee, a former district police chief, a former customs director for an airport, and several retired officers (who were not arrested due to their health conditions).

The businessman bribed them during their period of services
to the tune of more than SR20 million.

Other cases involve the arrest of a director of a port and several employees, a commander of one of the security sectors with the rank of a major general, four
of his subordinates, and the financial representative of the Ministry of Finance. A former governor has also been held
on graft charges. The anti-graft body seeks to activate measures aimed at preventing, combating, and exposing corruption in all its forms, as well as all related crimes and prosecuting perpetrators.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

09/07/20

A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money
The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption
RIYADH: The Saudi Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has initiated 105 corruption cases in the health, interior, power, and education sectors.
The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption.
A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money and harming state interests.
One of the cases involves the arrest of three employees working at the Saudi Electricity Co. for receiving a bribe amounting to €535,000 ($604,570) from a French company and opening bank accounts in another country (at the request of the company) for money laundering. Another case is the arrest of a university faculty member for asking for a bribe amounting to SR80,000 ($21,328) from a number of companies working on different projects at the university.
The authority also arrested a doctor at the Ministry of Health for violating the regulations at a quarantine facility.
A brigadier general was arrested for using his official vehicle to facilitate the passage of another private vehicle through security points during the curfew period.

This article was first published in Arab News

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