Statement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Attorney General on the proceedings of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee
The Attorney General, a member of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee, formed by Royal Order No. (A/38) on November 4, 2017 issued the following status update concerning the Anti-Corruption proceedings.
- Since the last update on November 9, the number of individuals subpoenaed by the Committee stands at 320 people; as a result of information revealed which implicated additional individuals who have been subpoenaed to provide any relevant information.
- The Committee transferred a number of individuals to the Public Prosecution Office. As a result, the current number of detainees stands at 159 individuals.
- Most detainees facing corruption allegations by the Committee agreed to a settlement. For those who agreed to a settlement, the necessary arrangements are being finalized to conclude such agreements.
- Pursuant to relevant laws and evidence, the Public Prosecution Office is continuing to detain a limited number of individuals and in parallel has released the remainder.
- As a precautionary measure, the bank accounts of 376 individuals are frozen, all of whom are detainees or linked to their corruption allegations.
The Attorney General confirms that all corporate entities’ assets of those detained, and any rights of any other parties related to such assets or corporate entities, shall not be affected or disrupted, and all measures to ensure this have been taken.
The Attorney General indicated that the Anti-Corruption procedures would unfold in two phases:
First Phase: Negotiation and Settlement
This phase is premised on what the original Royal Order (A/38), which stipulated that the Committee "has the right to decide what it deems as achieving public interest especially with those who responded positively to the Committee."
The Committee has followed internationally applied procedures, in dealing with such cases, by negotiating with the detainees and offering them a settlement that will facilitate recouping the State's funds and assets, and eliminating the need for a prolonged litigation. This phase is expected to be concluded within a few weeks. During this period; all detainees are allowed to contact whomever they wish. No detainee will be pressured in any shape or form, and each detainee has the right to refuse to settle at anytime before the settlement agreement is signed.
During this phase; the following steps will be undertaken:
- Each detainee must face allegations against him.If he admits to the allegation; an agreement will be reached in exchange for a settlement, recommended by the Committee to issue a pardon and end the criminal litigation.To this end, a settlement agreement would be drafted and executed.
- If the detainee denies the allegations against him or a settlement is not reached, he will be transferred to Public Prosecution Office.
Second Phase: Transfer to Public Prosecution Office
Upon transfer; the Public Prosecution Office will review the case of each individual transferred to it by the Committee, and implements the following procedures:
A. Continue to investigate the relevant crime and present the suspect with evidence and available information concerning his corruption crimes. This will be done in accordance with investigation procedures set forth in the Law of Criminal Procedures.
B. As the case is under investigation, determine the appropriate detention period, if applicable. If the evidence justifies detention, then it will be decided according to the relevant laws. Detention of up to six months can be decided by the Attorney General. If warranted, an extension of detention can be ordered by the relevant court.
C. If the investigation concludes that the evidence against the detainee is insufficient for the case to proceed, the Public Prosecution Office will release the individual, otherwise the individual will be prosecuted according to the relevant procedures.
The Attorney General reiterates that the Law of Criminal Procedures guarantees defendants’ rights, such as the right to an attorney during the processes of investigation and prosecution, the right to contact any person to inform the individual of his detention and the right not to be detained for more than six months except by court order issued by the relevant court. The Law of Criminal Procedures also prohibits subjecting the detainee to any harm.