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Saudi-Ethiopian tycoon Amoudi freed from detention

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ADDISABABA/RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi-Ethiopian businessman Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, arrested more than 14 months ago in a crackdown on corruption, has been released from detention in Saudi Arabia, two Saudi sources and Ethiopian state television said on Sunday.

“He was released today and is heading to Jeddah,” one of the sources told Reuters.

Ethiopian Television cited Arega Yirdaw, chief executive of Al Amoudi’s MIDROC Technology Group, as its source.

The move comes amid intense scrutiny of the kingdom’s human rights record following a global outcry over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and it follows the release last week of others including businessman Amr Dabbagh.

Forbes has previously listed Amoudi as a multi-billionaire, but it is unclear if how much – if any – of his wealth the state has seized in exchange for his release, as has happened with others detained in the campaign ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Amoudi, who is in his 70s, invested heavily in construction, agriculture and mining in Ethiopia, where he was born. He later purchased oil refineries in Morocco and Sweden.

Reuters could not reach him, and the Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho, Stephen Kalin and Marwa Rashad; Writing by George Obulutsa; editing by John Stonestreet/Keith Weir)

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