The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Saudi Arabia wants $6 billion from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in order to free him from detention.
Bloomberg’s ‘Billionaire Index’ says that the Prince is the 57th richest person in the world, but despite his commercial clout, has been held in the now infamous Riyadh Ritz Carlton hotel since November 4th.
Prince Alwaleed was detained along with dozens of other Saudi businessmen in a crackdown on alleged corruption, some of whom have now been released after paying over settlements to Saudi authorities.
The WSJ is saying that the Prince argues that handing over that amount of cash would be an admission of guilt. His lawyer, Salah Al-Hejailan, who has not been in touch with Alwaleed, but says he has been in contact with the Prince’s family says there are no formal accusations, and that the Prince wants a proper investigation.
The Journal adds that the Prince is discussing handing over a portion of his Kingdom Holdings investment company to the state, provided that he stays on as Chairman. Kingdom Holdings has a current value of some $8.7 billion, down around 14 per cent since the arrests.