Saudi Arabia sets up departments to investigate, prosecute corruption cases — royal decree

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
Updated 12 March 2018

Saudi Arabia sets up departments to investigate, prosecute corruption cases — royal decree

RIYADH: King Salman has approved a plan to create legal departments, under the authority of the attorney general’s office, specialized in curbing corruption.  
They will undertake investigations and prosecutions in instances related to corruption lawsuits.
The king and crown prince are adamant about fighting corruption, said the attorney general, Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Muajab, adding that judicial experts at his office are highly proficient in conducting interrogations and prosecuting criminals.
The royal decision was announced on Sunday in a report on the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The report said the king’s decision came from “his concern over combating corruption in all its forms aiming to protect the homeland and its resources, maintain public money and protect the integrity of the public employment.”
Commending the decision, Khaled bin Abdulmohsen Al-Muhaisen, president of the National Anti-Corruption Committee (Nazaha), said: “This shows the interest and care of the leadership to facilitate all actions that lead to the achievement of the Kingdom’s goal of eradicating corruption and tracking and bringing corrupt people to justice, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”
Saudi Arabia’s position in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) has continued to improve with the country jumping five places in the index.
In total, 180 countries were ranked on the basis of a number of best practice indicators, including international standards linked to business ethics.
Saudi Arabia jumped to 57 in 2017 from 62 in the previous year.
According to data released by the global anti-corruption organization, KSA’s overall score was 49 out of 100. Among Arab countries, Saudi Arabia improved its ranking to third in the region, with a higher score than the regional average of 33.

Saudi Arabia says halt in arms sales will embolden Iran

Updated 13 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia says halt in arms sales will embolden Iran

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking after UK suspended issuing new licenses for weapons sales to the Kingdom in response to a court ruling
  • UK government disagrees with the judgement and will seek permission to appeal

LONDON: Halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia will only benefit Iran, Adel Al-Jubeir said Wednesday, after the British government announced it would suspend issuing new licenses for the sale of arms to the Kingdom.

The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced the decision in parliament after a court ordered the government to “reconsider” the sales because of their humanitarian impact in Yemen.

Fox said he disagreed with the judgement and would seek permission to appeal.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the deployment of weapons in Yemen was legitimate.

“The decision by the court in the UK has to do with procedures for licensing, not any wrongdoing that took place,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir told reporters in London.

“The coalition is an ally of the West and the coalition is fighting a legitimate war at the behest of a legitimate government to stop Iran and its proxies from taking over a strategically important country - so the only beneficiary of a cut-off of weapons to the coalition is going to be Iran.”

The court ruling does not halt Britain's arms exports but means the granting of new licences will be paused.

Leading British defence firm BAE Systems said it would continue to support the UK government “in providing equipment, support and training under government to government agreements between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia is part of the Arab coalition fighting to support the internationally recognized government in Yemen which was driven from the capital Sanaa in 2014 by Iran-backed militants.

Saudi Arabia accounted for 43 percent of Britain's global arms sales in the past decade, Reuters reported.

The legal action against the British government was brought by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

Meanwhilw, a State Department official said the US must stand with Saudi Arabia as a key security partner, when asked about the Thursday's court ruling in the UK.
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper said both the US and Britain had long-standing bilateral ties to Saudi Arabia.
"They are carrying a significant amount of equity to protect US interests and US persons, and it is incumbent upon us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners, especially when they are on the front line for our interests," he said.

*With Reuters