Saturday, December 23, 2017

For $6 Billion, Prince al-Waleed bin Talal Can Buy His Freedom From Detention

Saudi authorities are demanding at least $6 billion from Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal to free him from detention, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The 62-year-old prince was one of the dozens of royals, government officials and businesspeople rounded up early last month in a wave of arrests ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The prince’s fortune is estimated at $18.7 billion by Forbes, which would make him the Middle East’s wealthiest individual. But, according to WSJ, Prince al-Waleed has indicated that he believes raising and handing over that much cash would be an admission of guilt and would require him to dismantle the financial empire he has built over 25 years, other people said.

Prince al-Waleed is talking with the government about instead accepting as payment for his release a large piece of his conglomerate, Kingdom Holding Co., people familiar with the matter said.

The Prince is a major shareholder in Twitter, the ride-sharing service Lyft, AccorHotels and the Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts.

It is been reported that he has been tortured by being hung upside down while in detention.

Inside the Ritz-Carlton, where he is being held, Prince al-Waleed has been allowed limited communication, is eating what people close to him call his “diet food” and exercising.


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