Billionaire Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal is released from detention

Saudi authorities on Saturday released billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, people familiar with the matter said, more than two months after he was detained in a widespread crackdown on corruption in the kingdom.

Prince al-Waleed is already at his house in Riyadh and is expected to resume his business activities as normal, two people said. 

The 62-year-old prince was one of dozens of royals, senior government officials and businesspeople rounded up in early November, a wave of arrests the Saudi government billed as the first volley in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s campaign against graft but which was also seen by many as a bid to consolidate power.

Saudi authorities demanded at least $6 billion from Prince al-Waleed to free him, people familiar with the matter have said, among the highest figures they sought from those detained in a makeshift prison at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton.

It wasn’t clear if Prince al-Waleed agreed to any settlement for his release, but he has previously denied wrongdoing and fought allegations of bribery, extortion and money laundering, a person close to him has said.

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