Detained Saudi Prince Alwaleed expected to be released in few days

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Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained in the kingdom’s sweeping crackdown on corruption, said on Saturday that he expected to be cleared of any wrongdoing and be released from custody within days.

Prince Alwaleed was speaking in an exclusive interview with Reuters at his suite in Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel, where he has been confined for over two months along with dozens of other suspects.

It was the first time the prince, one of the nation’s most prominent businessmen, has spoken publicly since his detention.

Prince Alwaleed said he was continuing to maintain his innocence of any corruption in talks with authorities. He said he expected to keep full control of his global investment firm Kingdom Holding Co 4280.SE without being required to give up assets to the government.

“There are no charges. There are just some discussions between me and the government,” he said in the interview, conducted shortly after midnight. “I believe we are on the verge of finishing everything within days.”

Prince Alwaleed appeared grayer and thinner than in his last public appearance, a television interview in late October, and had grown a beard while in detention.

But he said he had been well treated, describing rumors of mistreatment and of being moved from the hotel to a prison as completely false.

He gave the interview largely in order to disprove such rumors, he said, showing off the comforts of the private office, dining room and kitchen in his gold-accented suite, which was fully stocked with his preferred vegetarian meals.

Prince Alwaleed was speaking in an exclusive interview with Reuters at his suite in Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel, where he has been confined for over two months along with dozens of other suspects.

It was the first time the prince, one of the nation’s most prominent businessmen, has spoken publicly since his detention.

Prince Alwaleed said he was continuing to maintain his innocence of any corruption in talks with authorities. He said he expected to keep full control of his global investment firm Kingdom Holding Co 4280.SE without being required to give up assets to the government.

“There are no charges. There are just some discussions between me and the government,” he said in the interview, conducted shortly after midnight. “I believe we are on the verge of finishing everything within days.”

Prince Alwaleed appeared grayer and thinner than in his last public appearance, a television interview in late October, and had grown a beard while in detention.

But he said he had been well treated, describing rumors of mistreatment and of being moved from the hotel to a prison as completely false.

He gave the interview largely in order to disprove such rumors, he said, showing off the comforts of the private office, dining room and kitchen in his gold-accented suite, which was fully stocked with his preferred vegetarian meals.

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