Jailed Saudi royal can buy freedom for $6bn

Jailed Saudi royal can buy freedom for $6bn”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Saudi Arabia wants $6 billion from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in order to free him from detention.

The Journal reported that Alwaleed is talking with the government about accepting as payment for his release a large piece of his conglomerate, Kingdom Holding Co.

Some analysts saw the arrest of high-profile figures as an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Saudi defense minister, to consolidate his control over the security services.

Palestinian officials have repeatedly expressed worry that Saudi Arabia is forgoing important Palestinian rights as it acts behind the scenes to advance a United States "grand bargain" over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that heavily favors Israel.

Prince Al-Waleed previously indicated that paying the amount to Saudi authorities meant accepting the guilt, which would dismantle the financial empire he had built for a quarter of a century.

A close associate of the Saudi billionaire said Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who now heads the company's board, wants to keep a leading role in the new company, which will have the state's support.

The prince faces allegations of money laundering, bribery and extortion, according to a senior Saudi official.

Abbas was invited to Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh, on Tuesday, where he held talks with King Salman and MbS. 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.

It has been learnt that the arrested prince is at 57th spot in the list of world's wealthiest people and his assets are estimated to be $US18 billion.

The Saudi government has explained that the move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's campaign against widespread corruption. He is now a major shareholder in Twitter besides other organizations.

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