Cairo: Varying custodial sentences have recently been handed down to several defendants, including senior officials, in different graft cases in Saudi Arabia, the country’s state anti-corruption watchdog has disclosed.
The Saudi Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority had investigated several cases and referred defendants to a court in Riyadh that has passed preliminary verdicts, an official source at the watchdog said.
The court sentenced an ex-ambassador to six years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of SR300,000 after convicting him of bribery and job misuse by illegally issuing Hajj (pilgrimage) and Umrah visas in return for money.
In another case, a member of prosecution was convicted of bribery and job misuse by requesting SR30,000 from a Saudi citizen in return for for closing a case. The court sentenced him to three years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of SR30,000.
Likewise, an officer with the rank of a brigadier at the Defence Ministry was convicted of forging official documents and was handed down four years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of SR200,000.
In another case, the head of a committee at the Interior Ministry was found guilty of embezzlement, forgery and money laundering. The court sentenced him to nine years in jail and ordered him to pay SR1.02 million. A businessman was convicted of complicity in the same case and was given seven years in prison and a fine of SR500,000. Both are banned from travel outside the country for three years each after serving their terms.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up a crackdown on white-collar corruption, arresting dozens of state employees.