Saudi TV, SPA to be independent corporations

Updated 08 July 2012

Saudi TV, SPA to be independent corporations

The Council of Ministers yesterday decided to make Saudi Television and Radio and Saudi Press Agency (SPA) two independent corporations.
Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said the decision would strengthen the two media organizations professionally, financially and technically.
Speaking to Arab News, he said the two corporations would be given powers to take independent decisions, adding that they would have separate budgets. “The new structure will enable Saudi TV and Radio and SPA to work efficiently without bureaucratic hurdles,” the minister said, adding that existing staff would be shifted to the two corporations.
“The new corporations would have the power to appoint reporters and cope with new developments in order to provide the best possible services to the public and their clients,” he said.
The new bodies will have separate boards of directors chaired by the minister of culture and information.
The boards will have representatives from government departments in addition to two expert members, Khoja said.
The RTC will carry the Kingdom’s message to all corners of the Kingdom as well as to other parts of the world, making use of modern technology. It will have a president with excellent grade.
The SPA will cover events and issues at national, regional and international levels, especially those related to the Kingdom and contribute to strengthening the journalistic profession in the country. It will have a president with a grade not less than 15.
The Cabinet authorized its expert committee to prepare the rules and regulations for the two corporations within six months.
The Cabinet meeting also reviewed the latest regional and international developments and denounced the massacre of people in Hula by the Syrian regime last week. The Cabinet urged the international community to halt the continuing bloodbath in Syria, by stopping the use of force against unarmed civilians.
The Cabinet expressed its happiness over the success of a meeting of Friends of Yemen in Riyadh when Saudi Arabia offered an aid of $ 3.25 billion to finance the country’s development projects.
The Cabinet appreciated World Health Organization’s statement commending the Kingdom’s impressive efforts in mass medicine, especially its health care services for Haj pilgrims. The WHO said the Kingdom’s services in mass medicine are a model to be followed by professionals in other parts of the world.
The Cabinet approved the accredited evaluators law and the Saudi Authority for Accredited Evaluators, which will be chaired by the minister of commerce and industry. Its seven-member board will include six professional evaluators appointed by the minister.
The new law will regulate evaluation of real estate, economic institutions, equipment and properties. The authority will work under the minister’s supervision.

Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

Updated 44 min 20 sec ago

Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday he was seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after a struggle by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, he told reporters in Riyadh.

The Prosecutor said Khashoggi’s body parts were then handed over to a local Turkish agent outside the consulate grounds, the spokesman said, adding that the drawing of the agent has been prepared and will be handed over to the Turkish authorities.

He said that the head of Khashoggi’s repatriation team was the one who ordered the killing of the victim, adding that the investigations into the whereabouts of the victim’s body are still ongoing.

He noted that the mission of the team was to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom.

The prosecutor said a former adviser had been due to meet the team that was ordered to repatriate journalist Khashoggi, who was killed after efforts to negotiate his return failed.

He added that the ex-advisor had been banned from travelling and remained under investigation, and that the case has been transferred to court while investigations continue.

The prosecutor said Saudi Arabia has requested Turkey to sign a cooperation deal on a probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We have requested the brotherly Turkish authorities to sign a special cooperation mechanism specific to this case in order to provide them with the results of the investigation,” he said, adding that “the public prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests.”