RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Saturday removed a prominent prince who headed the National Guard, replaced the economy minister and announced the creation of a new anti-corruption committee.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel also reported late Saturday that 11 princes and dozens of former ministers were detained in a new anti-corruption probe headed by the kingdom’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was also named to oversee the new committee.
(Update: Also arrested was Trump Critic and billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent investor in US companies including Twitter and Citigroup, the New York Times reported.)
Al-Arabiya reported that the committee is looking into devastating and deadly floods that overwhelmed parts of the city of Jiddah in 2009 and is investigating the Saudi government’s response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed several hundred people in the past few years.
Meanwhile, the kingdom’s top council of clerics issued a statement saying it is an Islamic duty to fight corruption— essentially giving religious backing to the high-level arrests being reported…