Saudi anti-graft detainees will get due process -Saudi U.N. envoy

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Saudi royal family members, officials and businessmen arrested in an anti-corruption crackdown this month will be granted due process, Saudi Arabia’s U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallim said on Monday.

Girls stand next to a poster depicting Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Reem Baeshen

Authorities have detained dozens of top Saudis including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a move widely seen as an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to neuter any opposition to his lightning ascent to power.

Those held face accusations of money laundering, extortion, bribery and exploiting public office for personal gain. A Saudi anti-corruption committee has been given the power to seize companies, funds and other assets ahead of criminal inquiries.

“I can assure you there will be due process for anybody who is detained,” Al-Mouallim told reporters at the United Nations.

When asked how many people had been detained, he said: “I do not have a figure to share with you. This is something that the security authorities will announce in due course.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has endorsed the crackdown, saying some of those arrested have been “milking” Saudi Arabia for years, though the State Department has urged Riyadh to carry out prosecutions in a “fair and transparent” manner.

Human Rights Watch has also called on Saudi authorities to “immediately reveal the legal and evidentiary basis for each person’s detention and make certain that each person detained can exercise their due process rights”.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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