King Salman orders cabinet reshuffle, sets up anti-corruption committee
by Jerusha Sequeira
Saudi ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Saturday relieved three top officials of their posts, and ordered the launch of a new anti-corruption drive as part of the Kingdom’s reform agenda.
Under a series of royal decrees announced today, Mohammed al-Tuwaijri will replace Adel Fakieh as Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning.
Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of National Guard, has been relieved of his duties and will be replaced by Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Ayaf, the official Saudi Press Agency said on its Twitter account.
The King also ordered Lieutenant General Abdullah al-Sultan, commander of the naval forces, to step down. He will be replaced by General Fahad al-Ghufaily.
Separately, the ruler ordered the launch of a new anti-corruption committee, “as part of an active reform agenda aimed at tackling a persistent problem that has hindered development efforts in the Kingdom in recent decades,” Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication (CIC) said in a statement.
The committee will be headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Its members include the President of the Control and Investigation Board; the President of the National Anti-Corruption Commission; the President of the General Auditing Bureau; the Attorney General at the Public Prosecutor’s Office; and the head of the Presidency of State Security.
“The committee’s objective is to discipline the efforts to trace and combat corruption at all levels. It will log offenses and crimes related to individuals and entities in cases of corruption involving public funds, investigate cases, issue arrest warrants, travel restrictions, disclose and freeze portfolios and accounts,” the CIC said.
The new entity’s powers include, amongst others, the ability to trace funds and assets, and prevent their transfer or liquidation on behalf of individuals or entities. It is also able to take precautionary actions until cases are referred to investigatory or judiciary authorities.
The mandate allows the committee “to do what it takes" to hold accountable all those involved in corruption cases, the Royal Order said, adding that the committee’s formation was driven by “the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds."