Saudi releases 23 detainees after deals

Monitoring Desk

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has released 23 of about 200 powerful individuals detained since November on corruption charges after they reached deals with the government, according to Okaz newspaper.

The report on Tuesday did not name those involved in what appeared to be the first large-scale release since a group of officials was detained in a crackdown spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The individuals have been held at Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel since early November and told to hand over assets and cash in exchange for their freedom, Reuters said.

More detainees would be released in the coming days and trial proceedings would begin soon for those who continue to deny the charges against them, according to Okaz.