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Over 56 graft Saudi suspects still held: Attorney general

RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabian attorney general Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said on Tuesday that 56 corruption suspects were still in custody out of 381 high-profile figures detained on graft allegations.

He said he has decided to release all those proven not guilty and others who had agreed financial settlements with the government after admitting to corruption allegations.

Mojeb also said that total settlements with the suspects had topped 400 billion riyals ($107 billion) in various forms of assets including property, securities and cash.

“The total number of subpoenaed individuals reached 381, a significant number of whom were called to testify or provide evidence,” Mojeb said in a statement released by the information ministry.

Saudi authorities launched an unprecedented anti-corruption drive in early November and arrested hundreds of royals, businessmen and officials.

They included billionaire prince Al-Waleed bin Talal who was freed on Saturday after agreeing a settlement.

Those held were detained at the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

The hotel is due to reopen on February 14, and it was not immediately known if any of the 56 still in custody were kept there.

Mojeb said he has also decided to “keep in custody those individuals — 56 in total — where the attorney general has refused to settle with them due to other pending criminal cases”.

He said he will continue investigating the 56 detainees.

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