March 11, 2018 / 1:47 PM / 9 days ago

Saudi Arabia sets up departments to investigate, prosecute corruption cases

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi King Salman has ordered the establishment of specialised departments in the public prosecutor’s office to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, the government’s information office said in a statement on Sunday.

File Photo: Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presides over a cabinet meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 5, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

The move is intended to increase effectiveness and accelerate the process of combating corruption, the statement quoted Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mujib as saying.

FILE PHOTO - Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not in the picture) in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Kadobnov/Pool

Saudi authorities detained hundreds of top businessmen and royals in November and held them for several months at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton in a sweeping anti-corruption probe.

Most detainees have since been released after reaching financial settlements with the government, but several dozen others remain in custody and may stand trial.

Officials have not released the names of those still held, the allegations against them or plans for how the cases could be prosecuted.

Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Writing by Katie Paul; Editing by Mark Potter

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