[Saudi Arabia] anti-corruption shakedown mostly targets political opponents

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Subject: [Saudi Arabia] anti-corruption shakedown mostly targets political opponents
From: rsw@therandymon.com (RS Wood)
Newsgroups: dictator.mideast
Organization: The Dictator's Handbook
Date: Dec 01 2017 18:47:14
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/opinion/saudi-prince-elites-corruption.html

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Some defenders of Prince Mohammed and the Saudi monarchy are less
concerned with the rights of the accused, confident that they will
never have to face justice there. They have lauded the mass arrests as
evidence that Prince Mohammed is serious about taking on corruption,
and some even liken the forfeiture of billions of dollars of assets by
those arrested in exchange for their freedom to plea bargains in
America. (One rival prince, Mutaib bin Abdullah, who had controlled the
National Guard, was released this week after reportedly handing over $1
billion.)

Outside of Saudi Arabia, we have a better term for such forfeitures by
captive people without arrest warrants, evidence, legal representation
or judicial oversight: “shakedowns.”

It’s no accident that those arrested represented the few power centers
remaining outside Prince Mohammed’s control. They include the heads of
the country’s leading media establishments, the chief of the one
remaining security force previously outside his writ and
representatives of the kingdom’s richest families. Nor is it
coincidental that these arrests came on the heels of arrests in
September of influential, independent voices, including intellectuals,
human-rights activists and popular clerics.

If the government were serious about tackling the corruption, it could
have introduced a conflict of interest law to address the self-dealing
among government officials. Instead, it passed a “counterterrorism law”
on Nov. 1 that further consolidates power in the new Public Prosecution
and Presidency of the State Security, which reports directly to King
Salman — and thus to Prince Mohammed, his most trusted adviser.

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Date Subject  Author
01.12. o [Saudi Arabia] anti-corruption shakedown mostly taRS Wood

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