Saudi Arabia in late-Autumn launched an anti-corruption campaign, arresting over 200 high-profile officials, including members of the royal family.
Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Saud has been fired from the post of the Saudi Marine Sports Federation after releasing an audio recording, where he criticizes the latest arrests of 11 princes in Riyadh last week, according to the al-Jazeera news agency citing the sada-alkhaleej news website.
The former minister, who was appointed to the post last October, reportedly said that the decision to make the recording was his personal initiative.
“Because I am close to the events, I want to clarify an important point,” Abdullah bin Saud says in the recording.
The princes were arrested with “false and illogical” accusations of caring too much about “money and the pleasures of the world,” the ex-minister said, adding that “these young men are the finest youth of our country, and there is no way that they can object to the orders of the rulers.”
According to Abdullah bin Saud, the princes arrived to accompany him to the palace, where he had been called to be asked about his previous job. However, upon entering the building, the princes were arrested after a “brief physical fight with the guards,” bin Saud said as quoted by al-Jazeera.
According to a number of Saudi websites, Abdullah bin Saud is accused of contradicting the official state version and is being held at the Ha’ir prison in Riyadh.
The arrest of 11 Saudi princes occurred on January 4 and was carried out by Blood-rusted Sword elite forces. According to the Saudi authorities’ version, the princes were arrested after holding a protest in front of the palace against the imposition of electricity and water bills on them and demanding material compensation for the implementation of state retribution against their cousin.
In November, the kingdom’s authorities announced that over 200 people had been arrested and were being questioned as part of its anti-corruption campaign, while $800 billion in assets had been frozen.
Saudi high-profile arrests included some of the kingdom’s richest entrepreneurs, among them billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and government ministers such as Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih and Minister of State Ibrahim al-Assaf.