TEL AVIV — Saudi officials who were recently arrested in a corruption crackdown are expected to receive prison sentences of 3-10 years, Saudi news outlet Al Watan has reported.
According to the report, clause 5 of the Saudi law of sentencing, which relates to the case of government officials violating their oaths of allegiance, stipulates prison sentences of up to 10 years.
The officials were charged with the Saudi version of perjury, which is defined as “voicing injustice before Allah and before the king,” in addition to violating their duty to protect the nation’s institutions and interests, as well as their oaths of allegiance.
According to the report, besides clause 5, the officials, some of whom are accused of using their positions for personal financial gain and accepting bribes, will likely be forbidden from holding public office in the future under clause 6 of the law.
Saudi media was, of course, quick to fall in line behind King Salman and his son, the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
In the popular Okaz newspaper, columnist Khaled al-Suliman wrote an article titled, “Finally – who will be will be,” quoting the law that establishes that criminals will be held equally accountable before the law regardless of their social standing.
Al-Suliman wrote, “What’s interesting about the list of those arrested for corruption is that it includes those who received complaints of corruption and we demanded that they fight corruption and we assumed they were our defenders but it turns out they are the wolf predators. While we thought them models to emulate, they were collecting suspicious fortunes through dirty deals.”
According to the Saudi columnist, “What’s happened is not the storm, but the end of the storm, which allowed the clarity of vision, the vision of society so that it knows who its adversaries are, who the ones are who sucked up its resources and harmed its development.
“Many knew who the enemies of the nation were; some of the accusations weren’t surprising. What was surprising was the courage to confront them and take from them the protection they thought they would continue to enjoy because of their positions and their wealth.”
The writer added, “From today, I will believe in the principle of ‘what will be, will be.’ I won’t hide from the law and may the nation punish those who grew at its expense and drained it of all its capabilities.”