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Saudi Arabia suspends 126 local government employees on corruption charges

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By Reuters

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it had suspended 126 local government employees at municipalities across the kingdom on corruption charges.

“They are charged with involvement in a number of cases including financial and managerial corruption, abuse of power as well as other legal and criminal violations,” the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs said on Twitter.

Saudi authorities rounded up dozens of people in November 2017 on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s orders amid a crackdown on corruption, with many confined and interrogated at Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Most of them, including global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, were released after being exonerated or reaching financial settlements with the government.

Last year, King Salman ordered the establishment of specialised departments in the public prosecutor’s office in order to accelerate the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. The public prosecutor said then that the campaign would work its way through lower-level offences.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Janet Lawrence)