Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal released after corruption crackdown

Posted January 29, 2018

Prince Alwaleed gave an interview to Reuters news agency prior to his release.

The share price of the company, 95 percent of which is owned by Prince Al-Waleed, rose the maximum allowed 10 percent at the start of the week's trading, regaining its level from before the arrest.

The prince, 62, had been the most well-known and prominent detainee held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, since November 4, when his much younger cousin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the surprise raids against prominent princes, businessmen, ministers and military officers. Some are expected to be put on trial.

Authorities have said most of those detained struck monetary settlements in exchange for their freedom, which could earn state coffers about $100 billion.

Alwaleed is one of the richest men in the world, with an estimated net worth of about $17 billion, and some reports estimated that he may be forced to pay around $6 billion for his freedom.

On Friday, it was reported that several detained businessmen had secured their release through financial settlements, including MBC television network owner Waleed al-Ibrahim.

The purge has pleased some Saudis by showing that Prince Mohammed's economic shakeup is affecting the wealthy as well as the poor, said Tom Coghlan, director for the Middle East and North Africa at K2 Intelligence in London.

These bears burnt during California wildfires were healed using fish skin
The team also worked with UC Davis veterinary pharmacists to create a new burn salve designed to ease the bears' pain. Peyton procured the skin from a local fish market, sterilized it and then sutured it onto the sedated animals' paws.

"I have nothing to hide at all. There are just some discussions between me and the government", he said in the interview.

"Should the released detainees cross the crown prince again - perhaps by showing disloyalty to his vision through their business decisions - they could well find themselves back in fetters", a Stratfor brief said, adding that there may be a strain on the relationship between the released detainees and the government.

According to Prince Alwaleed, he felt "so comfortable, so at home" in the Ritz.

"It's like home. I call my family every day". My barber comes here.

He also highlighted all comfort amenities that were available to him, including a private office, dining room and kitchen, which was fully stocked with his preferred vegetarian meals.

The prince said he was able to communicate with family members and executives at his business during his time in detention.

After being released, Prince Alwaleed said, he plans to continue living in Saudi Arabia and to return to the challenge of juggling his global business interests.

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