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Trump to Host Saudi Crown Prince Next Week

14 March 2018

Various analyses of the crackdown viewed it as a necessary step for Saudi Arabia to streamline its famously inefficient government, a desperate clawback of resources appropriated by self-indulgent members of the huge royal family, a vital step in persuading worldwide investors to put money into a dramatically reformed economy, a bid by the crown prince to weaken his rivals before he assumes the throne, or all of the above. The newspaper also reported that the body of one detainee who died in custody - Maj Gen Ali al-Qahtani - showed signs of abuse.

Their wives and children have reportedly been prevented from travelling.

A Saudi general may have been tortured to death during the royal purge headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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The announcement comes as a New York Times report has suggested that numerous assets of the 381 princes, ministers and tycoons have yet to be seized while more than a dozen of the detainees were abused while they were held.

More than 200 businessmen, princes and government officials were detained in November and imprisoned at the luxury hotel in Riyadh in what the Saudi government said was an anti-corruption drive.

Relatives of the captives said that some of the detainees were deprived of sleep, roughed up and interrogated with their heads covered while the government pressured them to sign over large assets.

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Evidence of such abuse has been slow to emerge, but officials from two western governments said they deemed the reports credible.

The report alleges al-Qahtani's "neck was twisted unnaturally as though it had been broken" and his body also had burn marks, which were believed to be a result of electric shocks. "All those under investigation had full access to legal counsel in addition to medical care to address pre-existing, chronic conditions".

On Sunday, the kingdom announced new anti-corruption departments, claiming that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed "are keen to eradicate corruption with utmost force and transparency".

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Based on the assumption that another US$100 billion would be added through an Aramco initial public offering, the kingdom's weighting would rise to about four per cent, which would be bigger than Russia's weighting of 3.4 per cent, for example.

Trump to Host Saudi Crown Prince Next Week