Saudi Arabia to Establish Anti-corruption Units

Britain Saudi ink deals worth $2 billion

The chances of Saudi Arabia choosing either London or NY as the destination for a massive stock market listing of oil giant Saudi Aramco, may be fading.

Numerous detainees have been released so far after forking out exorbitant amounts reaching as high as one billion dollars.

"We signed away everything", said a relative of a former detainee, who has been forced to wear a tracking device.

The sources, wishing to remain unnamed, said their Saudi counterparts had warned them about the delay, adding that the global listing could happen even later.

The Saudi government categorically denied the allegations of abuse and oppression made in the New York Times article, insisting that stern measures were needed to reform the Saudi system and the public supports both the anti-corruption campaign and Crown Prince Mohammed's ambitious reform agenda.

Evidence of such abuse has been slow to emerge, but officials from two western governments said they deemed the reports credible.

According to a report by the New York Times, witnesses who saw the corpse of the officer said that his neck was twisted unnaturally as though it had been broken, and that his body was badly bruised and swollen. His skin showed other signs of physical abuse, the person said.

More news: Stephen Curry is stoked about Davidson's first Atlantic-10 title

"A doctor and two other people briefed on the condition of the body said that it had burn marks that appeared to be from electric shocks", the newspaper said.

Abuse of power, nepotism and the use of middlemen, wasta, to do business are common, it says, suggesting that business practices in Saudi Arabia need to fundamentally change if corruption is to be eradicated, particularly given the overlap between business and politics.

Major General Ali al-Qahtani, a top aide to a son of the late King Abdullah, was among those held.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince's visit to Washington is part of a three-leg visit, with Mohammed bin Salman having visited Egypt and the United Kingdom earlier in March as part of a long foreign trip, his first as crown prince.

The king's decision came from "his concern over combating corruption in all its forms aiming to protect the homeland and its resources, maintain public money and protect the integrity of the public employment", according to Saudi state media.

Members of the Qahtani and Abdullah families have been afraid to discuss the general's death publicly for fear of further retribution, several people who have spoken to them said.

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