Saudi prince arrested as part of 'anti-corruption purge' was freed after agreeing '$1 BILLION settlement'

  • Miteb bin Abdullah was rounded up during an inquiry into alleged corruption
  • He was once seen as a potential heir to the throne and was the most high-ranking detainee among 200 princes, minister and officials rounded up
  • He was freed on Tuesday after agreeing to pay $1billion, it has been reported?

Prince Miteb was one of the many senior figures who were rounded up in a corruption inquiry aimed at strengthening the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Prince Miteb was one of the many senior figures who were rounded up in a corruption inquiry aimed at strengthening the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia has freed influential Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, following a 'settlement' with authorities reportedly exceeding $1 billion, more than three weeks after he was detained in a sweeping anti-corruption purge.

The former National Guard chief was among more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen who were rounded up earlier this month, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tightens his grip on power.

Prince Miteb, once seen as a contender to the throne, is the most high-profile royal to be released so far as the government appears to be striking monetary settlements with some of the detainees in exchange for their freedom.

'Yes, Prince Miteb was released this morning (Tuesday),' a source close to the government told AFP, without outlining the terms of his release.

The prince was released after paying more than $1 billion in a 'settlement deal' with authorities, Bloomberg News cited an unnamed official as saying.

The prince was not reachable for comment.?

Prince Miteb is believed to have been one of the men imprisoned inside the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh (pictured, prisoners sleep on mattresses on the floor)

Prince Miteb is believed to have been one of the men imprisoned inside the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh (pictured, prisoners sleep on mattresses on the floor)

Saudi information ministry officials also could not confirm the development but posts on social media by members of the royal family suggested he had been freed.

Princess Nouf bint Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud posted an old image of Prince Miteb on a verified Twitter account with the message: 'Praise be to Allah. Peace be upon you'.

In a similar post with the picture of a smiling prince, Princess Abeer bint Khaled bin Abdullah tweeted: 'May god grant you a long life, give you health and keep you safe for us.'?

Before his arrest the 64-year-old son of the late king Abdullah was sacked as the head of the National Guard, an internal security force that has long been seen as a locus of tribal power.?

In an interview with the New York Times published last week, Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted as saying that the vast majority of about 200 businessmen and officials implicated in crackdown are agreeing to settlements under which they hand over assets to the government.

As the Sandhurst-trained preferred son of the late King Abdullah, Miteb was once thought to be a leading contender for the throne.

Before he was sacked by a royal decree on Nov. 4, he headed the Saudi National Guard, an elite internal security force originally based on traditional tribal units that was run by his father for five decades.

He was also the last remaining member of Abdullah's Shammar branch of the family to retain a key position at the top of the Saudi power structure, after brothers Mishaal and Turki were relieved of their posts as governors in 2015.

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