Sunday, November 05, 2017

What is happening in Saudi Arabia; the Ritz saga continues

Ba`thist regimes used to arrest people on trumped up charges of spying for Israel.  The regime of Muhammad bin Salman arrests people (opposition people or people who are quiet as being quiet is a crime in the land of MbS) on charges of either terrorism or corruption.  If there is a real campaign against corruption, why are Bandar bin Sultan and Khalid bin Sultan free?  And what about the $500 million Yacht which MbS bought on a whim? Was that from his hard work earnings?  This is what I learned from a source in a major Saudi media conglomerate: the arrest of the princes and business people has nothing to do with corruption.  It was part of an insistence by MbS to control vast financial interests.  The An-Nashir for Research company, owned by MbS, wanted to buy MBC TV stations a year ago.  Its owner Al-Walid Al-Ibrahim (brother-in-law of King Fahd) refused the offer but kept the door for negotiations open while he never wanted to sell.  He is part of the detainees in the Ritz in Riyadh.  There is pressure on him to transfer complete ownership to An-Nashir co and for free.  Same story is happening with Al-Walid bin Talal and his in-law Ibrahim Al-`Assaf where they are being pressured to relinquish investment and properties under the guise that they were obtained through corrupt means.  The goal is for MbS to hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia to be under his tight control.  Salih Al-Kamil owner of OSN is also a detainee.  There is a state of anxiety among the staff of all Saudi media, especially those located outside the kingdom.