Senior Saudi official says Prince Alwaleed freed after financial settlement

Senior Saudi official says Prince Alwaleed freed after financial settlement

A senior Saudi official said Prince Alwaleed was released after a financial settlement was reached.

The crackdown was launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on November 4 previous year to cut wasteful and unlawful spending by some of the country's most powerful men.

Activists in the United Kingdom are calling on British Prime Minister Theresa May to withdraw an invitation to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is expected to visit within a few weeks, Al Jazeera reported.

Prince Alwaleed said he was continuing to maintain his innocence of any corruption in talks with authorities and that he expects to keep full control of his global investment firm Kingdom Holding Co without being required to give up assets to the government.

In November, the billionaire was arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

"The prince returned home at 11 a.m (0800 GMT)", the official told Reuters.

The government on Friday also released a number of other detainees including Khaled Tuwaijri, former chief of the Saudi royal court, and Turki bin Nasser, former head of the country's meteorology agency, a source close to the government told AFP.

With a fortune of United States dollars 18 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, Bin Talal controls the Kingdom Holding investment firm, and owns major stakes in News Corp, Citigroup, Twitter and many other worldwide corporations.

Prince Alwaleed and Prince Mohammed are grandsons of the kingdom's founder.

Saudi officials are yet to confirm his release.

Earlier this week, Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mojeb was quoted as saying some 90 detainees in total have been released after agreeing to settlements involving cash, real estate and other assets.

His suite at the Ritz-Carlton included a private office, dining room and kitchen.

The company - in which the prince has a 95 per cent stake - owns The Savoy in London, the Fairmont Plaza in NY and the George... These include Waleed Al Ibrahim, the owner of MBC television network.

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