(MENAFN- Daily News Egypt) By the recent unexpected arrest and detention of about 11 Saudi princes, and a large number of current and former ministers, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seems to be restraining the power of Saudi Arabia's religious establishments and institutions that are turning to KSA's oil wealth to promote their extreme ideas and intolerant interpretation of Islam, according to New York Times.
Saudi-owned 'Al Arabiya' announced on Saturday evening the arrest of the prominent billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, in addition to at least 10 more Saudi influential figures and royal cousins. The arrests came shortly after the formation of a new anti-corruption commission headed by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and formed by the order of King Salman, the Crown Prince's father. State-run Saudi Press Agency said that the goal of the commission was to 'preserve public money, and punish corrupt individuals, as well as those who exploit their positions,'
Info Graph by Daily News Egypt
'No one is above the law, whether it is a prince or a minister,' said Prince Mohammed in a television interview earlier this year.
In a statement, Saudi Arabia's Attorney General said the actions implemented by the supreme anti-corruption commission were undertaken 'as part of the state's judicial duty to combat corruption'.
The detainees in the wave of arrests included Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the last of the late King Abdullah's sons to hold a position of real power. Until right before the arrest, he was head of Saudi Arabia's National Guard, which accounts for nearly half of the country's military. Other detainees included Ibrahim Al-Assaf, a former finance minister, Adel Fakeih, an economy minister, Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a former governor of Riyadh. Major business figures including Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the big Saudi Binladin construction group, and Alwaleed Al-Ibrahim, owner of the MBC television network, were also amongst the detainees, according to the Telegraph.
Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University said that the broad scale of the arrests appears to be unprecedented in the modern history of Saudi Arabia, Mail and Guardian Newspaper reported.
Analysts said that many of those who were detained, were against Prince Mohammed's aggressive foreign policy which included boycotting the Gulf neighbour Qatar. They may have also been resistant to some of his bold policy reforms, including privatising state assets and cutting subsidies.
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