Prince Alwaleed still ‘detained’

Forbes magazine’s news site says that the Saudi Arabian anti-corruption clampdown is till firmly in place, more than 1 month after a total of 320 wealthy businessmen were detained.

A statement from the Kingdom’s Attorney General’s office says that 376 personal bank accounts had been frozen, with “most detainees” having agreed to a settlement with the State.  The statement said 159 people were still detained.

Forbes quotes a source saying that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns the Rotana media group as well as stakes in the Fox TV broadcasting interests in the MENA region as well as LBC-Sat and other TV channels, is refusing to pay up.  Forbes says that Alwaleed has been asked to pay a large portion of his assets and to also agree to a lifetime under house arrest with a telephone, and no media interviews.  Alwaleed is said to have demanded that he face a trial in court.

Prince Alwaleed, and others declining to pay, could face up to 6 months detention, and that period could be extended.

There is also no word on Sheikh Saleh Kamel (owner of the ART-related broadcast businesses), or Alwaleed Al Ibrahim (and not to be confused with Prince Alwaleed) who is chairman at Middle East Broadcasting (MBC). Al Ibrahim has a net worth (according to Forbes) of some $10.9 billion. He funded the launch of all-news channel Al Arabiya in 2003, which is a sister station to the highly successful MBC portfolio of channels.

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