Saudi Princes Among Dozens Arrested In Apparent Move To Boost King's Son

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With the two princes now sidelined, control of the kingdom's security apparatuses is now largely centralised under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also defence minister.

The arrests came a few hours after the king replaced the minister in charge of the Saudi national guard, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, who controlled the last of the three Saudi armed forces not yet considered to be under control of the crown prince.

The attorney general said Sunday the newly-formed anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is conducting investigations to ensure transparency and good governance.

The arrest of senior princes upends a longstanding tradition among the ruling Al Saud family to keep their disagreements private in an effort to show strength and unity in the face of Saudi Arabia's many tribes and factions.

The detention of Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, known for his big bets on Citigroup and other top Western companies, could have an impact on billions of dollars of investments around the world.

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Hodges said Boucher would have faced more serious charges if had he used a weapon or if Paul had been injured seriously. Paul was mowing his lawn at the time of the attack, television station WAVE-TV in Kentucky reported .

In addition, Economy Minister Adel Fakieh was unseated by his subordinate, Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, the wire service says, according to state-run media. It also sends a message that the crown prince has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have always been seen as operating above the law.

Bloomberg quoted a senior Saudi official as saying that 11 princes and 38 current or former senior officials were arrested. The crown prince now is King Salman's 32-year-old son. Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Sunday morning.

Saudi Arabia's minister of culture and information Awad bin Saleh also praised the royal decree establishing the new anti-corruption commission, the Saudi Press Agency said.

Al-Arabiya said that the anti-corruption committee had the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel or freeze the assets of anyone it deemed corrupt.

President Trump has spoken with the king of Saudi Arabia to offer a wholehearted endorsement of a drive to modernize the kingdom, as the Saudi authorities arrested scores of prominent business people and ministers in a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown.

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