Saudi Arabia to release high-profile figures proven not guilty


The share price of the company, 95% owned by Prince Al-Waleed, rose the maximum allowed 10% at the start of the week's trading, retracing its mark from before his arrest.

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is among those still detained.

Prince Alwaleed, along with hundreds of other prominent Saudis, were detained in November 2017, as part of a wide-reaching anti-corruption case.

The attorney general has indicated that the estimated value of settlements now stands at more than $106 billion.

The anti-corruption drive is being spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old son of King Salman, who has rejected as "ludicrous" analysts' suggestions that it is a power grab. Bin Talal's sum, though, is believed to be one of the largest sought by the Saudi authorities; reportedly at least $6 billion in exchange for his freedom, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Now it is the moment to get back to the book".

Is the Saudi anti-corruption crackdown finished?

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During his detention, the Saudi stock index rose over 8pc.

In fact, just hours before his release, Alwaleed had told Reuters, in an interview, that his detention was a "misunderstanding" and he also expressed full support for the Kingdom's rulers. This suggested to investors that his company might not be seriously damaged by the affair.

They have generated an estimated 400 billion riyal ($106.7 billion), he added. The government has been using the reserves, which peaked at $737 billion in August 2014, to cover a big budget deficit caused by low oil export receipts.

Many doubt the kingdom can change quickly.

MBC said the investigation found Ibrahim completely innocent of wrongdoing and Prince Alwaleed has insisted he is innocent, although Saudi officials said both men agreed to settlements after admitting unspecified "violations". They say Prince Mohammed had no choice but to press ahead with the campaign to eradicate corruption if his plan to transform the Saudi economy was to work. "This is a new era", he said last week. "The campaign against corruption won't stop".