cloudy
Saturday December 15th, 2018 3:45PM

The Latest: Saudi crown prince shocks kingdom with arrests

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on Saudi Arabia, where dozens of princes and former ministers have been arrested as authorities announce an anti-corruption drive (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne is overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers. Some of them are potential rivals or critics of the crown prince, whose purported anti-corruption sweep sent shockwaves across the kingdom Sunday as he further consolidated power.

Among those taken into custody overnight Saturday were billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men with extensive holdings in Western companies, as well as two of the late King Abdullah's sons.

The arrest of senior princes upends a longstanding tradition among the ruling Al Saud family to keep their disagreements private in an effort to show strength and unity in the face of Saudi Arabia's many tribes and factions. It also sends a message that the crown prince has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have long been seen as operating above the law.

___

4:30 p.m.

Saudi Arabia's attorney general says an anti-corruption sweep is treating its suspects with "the same rights and treatment as any other Saudi citizen."

Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb did not acknowledge the arrests or name any suspects, but The Associated Press has reported that billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and other senior royals, military officers, businessmen and ex-ministers have been detained and are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh.

Al-Mojeb stressed that all parties are considered innocent until proven guilty and "retain full legal privileges relating to their personal and private property, including funds." However, he says a suspect's position or status will "not influence the fair application of justice."

The attorney general said Sunday the newly-formed anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is conducting investigations to ensure transparency and good governance.

The statement did not specify further what alleged crimes had been committed.

___

1:40 p.m.

The Ritz Carlton hotel chain says it is "evaluating the situation" at its hotel in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after reports it is being used to house some of those detained in a wave of arrests of princes and former government officials.

Ritz Carlton spokeswoman Sarah Walker-Kerr declined to discuss Sunday what was happening at the hotel.

Some of the 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen arrested in Saudi Arabia are reportedly being held at the hotel. Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning.

A Saudi security official earlier told The Associated Press that the detainees are being held in five-star hotels across Riyadh as part of an anti-corruption sweep.

The arrests have cemented the hold on power for King Salman and his 32-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

___

12:30 p.m.

The White House has released more details about a phone call between President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman, but the statement did not make any reference to the overnight arrests of high-level princes and officials in the kingdom.

The White House statement said Sunday that Trump and Salman discussed counterterrorism efforts, "the continuing threat of Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen" and Saudi Arabia's interception of a missile fired from Yemen at its capital, Riyadh.

President Trump also thanked the monarch for Saudi Arabia's military purchases, including a $15 billion investment in the American-made THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system.

The president also asked the king to strongly consider listing state-oil firm Aramco on a stock exchange in the United States, which Trump had earlier mentioned in a tweet.

___

11:10 a.m.

Shares of an investment company owned by a Saudi billionaire detained in a massive sweep in Riyadh have dropped 10 percent in trading on the kingdom's stock market.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the head of Kingdom Holding Co., is among the 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen now detained in Riyadh.

Kingdom Holding's drop on the Tadawul stock exchange comes as it announced its third-quarter earnings Sunday morning. It said it had profits of 247.5 million riyals ($66 million), compared to a loss of 345.9 million riyals ($92 million) in the previous period last year.

The company said in a filing its earnings rose on an "increase in hotels and other operating revenues in addition to increase in dividends income."

___

10:15 a.m.

A Saudi government official with close ties to security says 11 princes and 38 former government ministers, deputies and businessmen are being held in five-star hotels across the capital, Riyadh, in an anti-corruption sweep.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The AP earlier reported that among those detained is Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Reports say some of the detainees are being held at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.

A royal court official, Badr al-Asaker, on Sunday appeared to confirm the arrests on Twitter, describing a "historic and black night against the corrupt."

— Aya Batrawy and Abdullah al-Shihri

9:15 a.m.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained in a large anti-corruption sweep targeting dozens of senior princes and government ministers.

A high-level employee of the King Holding Company, which Prince Alwaleed chairs, told The Associated Press that the royal had been among those detained overnight Saturday. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of repercussions.

Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East's richest people, with investments in Twitter, Apple, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, Citigroup, the Four Seasons hotel chains and most recently in ride sharing service Lyft.

He's also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for greater women's rights. He is also majority owner of the popular Rotana Group of Arabic channels.

The government has so far only announced that an anti-corruption probe was launched, with state-linked media reporting that dozens of princes and ministers were detained without releasing their names.

— Aya Batrawy and Abdullah al-Shihri

8 a.m.

Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrested 11 princes and dozens of former government ministers as it announces a new anti-corruption campaign, further cementing King Salman and his crown prince son's control of the kingdom.

The arrests late Saturday, as well as the king's removal of a prominent prince in charge of the National Guard, came as Lebanon's prime minister, a close Saudi ally, announced his own resignation from the Saudi capital only hours earlier.

The moves further shake up Saudi Arabia and the greater Middle East as regional conflicts still rage around the kingdom. Shiite rebels in Yemen, the target of a 2 ½ year Saudi-led military campaign, fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh's international airport on Saturday night.

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news channel reported the arrests late Saturday of 11 princes and dozens of former ministers.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP World News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Saudi crown prince shocks kingdom with arrests
Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne is overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers
12:33PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Fournette, Hill out of Jags-Bengals, Ertz out for Eagles
Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette, Eagles TE Zach Ertz headline list of inactive players for Sunday's early games
12:22PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Man City beats Arsenal 3-1, still undefeated in EPL
Premier League leader Manchester City kept up its prolific and undefeated start to the season by beating Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday for a club record-extending 15th straight win in all competitions
12:21PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Saudi arrests of princes consolidates another's power grab
Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne is overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and ministers_ individuals that include potential rivals or critics of the crown prince
11:56AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Hundreds of nationalist protesters arrested in Moscow
Hundreds of people were arrested in the center of Moscow while trying to gather for an unauthorized Sunday protest demonstration called for by an extreme nationalist group
11:16AM ( 1 hour ago )
Bahrain orders citizens to leave Lebanon
Bahrain is ordering all its citizens in Lebanon to "leave immediately" after the country's prime minister resigned in a sudden televised address, citing Iranian meddling in Lebanese and regional affairs
11:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
'Thor: Ragnarok' rumbles to $121M box-office debut
"Thor: Ragnarok" thundered to one of the year's best box-office debuts, opening with an estimated $121 million in North American theaters
11:44AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Billionaire prince among dozens arrested in Saudi sweep
Saudi Arabia has arrested dozens of princes, top officials and businessmen, including a well-known royal billionaire, as part of a sweeping anti-corruption probe that further cements control in the hands of its young crown prince
8:37AM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Ritz Carlton 'evaluating' situation in Riyadh
The Ritz Carlton hotel chain says it is "evaluating the situation" at its hotel in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after reports it is being used to house some of those detained in a wave of arrests of princes and former government officials
5:39AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Record crowd attends star ceremony for Latin icon Selena
Some 4,500 fans gathered on Vine Street in Hollywood on Friday to pay tribute to the late Tejano music queen Selena Quintanilla, who was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1:22PM ( 24 hours ago )
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips apologizes for DWI in Texas
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips has apologized for his arrest in Texas on a charge of driving while intoxicated
1:21PM ( 24 hours ago )
Olympian Nancy Kerrigan headlines infertility conference
Nancy Kerrigan is sharing her heartbreaking experience with multiple miscarriages
10:55AM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Sticker shock coming with California's new pot market
Consumers eager for the coming of legal recreational marijuana in California should be ready for sticker shock
10:25AM ( 2 hours ago )
Booze on the ballot: Utah dry town mulls allowing alcohol
The rural Utah city of Blanding, one of the last "dry" communities in the Mormon-majority state, is asking voters this fall whether to allow beer and wine sales in town for the first time in more than 80 years
10:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Poll: Tight race expected in Catalan election
An opinion poll published by Barcelona's La Vanguardia newspaper forecasts a tight electoral race between parties for and against Catalonia's independence from Spain
9:14AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Saudis arrest 11 princes, dozens of ex-ministers in shake-up
Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrested 11 princes and dozens of former government ministers as it announces a new anti-corruption campaign, further cementing King Salman and his crown prince son's control of the kingdom
1:51AM ( 11 hours ago )
Lebanese premier resigns, plunging nation into uncertainty
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has announced his resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia
2:45PM ( 22 hours ago )
Clashes between Iraqi forces and IS along Syria border
Syrian monitoring group and Iraqi official say clashes erupted on the Syrian-Iraqi borders between Islamic State militants and Iraqi Shiite fighters as the extremist group defends its last stronghold in the region
7:49AM ( 1 day ago )
AP World News - International incidents
Fournette, Hill out of Jags-Bengals, Ertz out for Eagles
Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette, Eagles TE Zach Ertz headline list of inactive players for Sunday's early games
12:22PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Man City beats Arsenal 3-1, still undefeated in EPL
Premier League leader Manchester City kept up its prolific and undefeated start to the season by beating Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday for a club record-extending 15th straight win in all competitions
12:21PM ( 21 minutes ago )
The Latest: Saudi AG says 'corruption' sweep will be fair
Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne is overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and ministers_ many of them potential rivals or critics of the crown prince
12:20PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Bodies of 26 migrants arrive in Italy as rescues intensify
The United Nation's refugee agency says the bodies of 26 migrants who apparently drowned have arrived at the Italian port of Salerno as rescues intensify on the Mediterranean Sea
12:20PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Kamworor holds off fellow Kenyan Kipsang to win NYC Marathon
Shalane Flanagan dethroned Mary Keitany and became the first American woman to win the New York Marathon since 1977, potentially ending her decorated career with her first major marathon victory
12:19PM ( 22 minutes ago )