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Saudi King sacks two royals, four military officers in defence corruption probe

Filed on September 1, 2020
saudi king, royals sacked, corruption, Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

(Reuters file)

Anti-corruption committee to investigate 'suspicious financial transactions at the defence ministry'

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, sacked two royals and referred them along with four military officers for investigation into corruption at the defence ministry in a royal decree issued early on Tuesday and carried by state media.

The decree said Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would be removed as commander of joint forces in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, and his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd relieved of his post as deputy governor of Al Jouf region.

It said the decision was based on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's missive to the anti-corruption committee to investigate "suspicious financial transactions at the defence ministry".

According to the statement issued by SPA, Yousef bin Rakan bin Hindi Al Otaibi, Mohammed bin Abdulkarim bin Mohammad Al Hassan, Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Ajlan, and Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifah were referred to investigation.

Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) shall complete the investigation procedures with all relevant military and civil officials, take the necessary legal measures against them and submit the outcomes.

The young prince has made fighting corruption a pillar of his reforms.

In March, authorities arrested nearly 300 government officials, including military and security officers, on charges involving bribery and exploiting public office.

Before becoming commander of joint forces in the coalition, Prince Fahd was commander of the Royal Saudi Ground Forces, paratroopers units and special forces, according to Saudi daily Arab News. His father was a former deputy minister of defence.

The decree said the crown prince designated Lieutenant Gen. Mutlaq bin Salem bin Mutlaq Al Azima to replace Prince Fahd.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that ousted the Saudi-backed government from power in Sanaa.

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