RIYAD. SAUDI – Mazen Al-Kahmous, president of the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), emphasized that no persons, including princes, have immunity from prosecution in corruption cases.
“It is the right of a person, who provides tips about incidents of corruption, not to give his name. It is our duty to protect him and I am not the one who protects such a person but the King is the one who protects him,” he said. The Nazaha chief made these remarks while attending a television program.
Al-Kahmous said that the names of people indicted in corruption cases would be publicized after the issuance of judicial verdict. He disclosed that a sizable number of people who were detained in corruption cases were released on bail as part of precautionary measures to prevent coronavirus.
“Those who violated the rules in the past will be tracked down,” he said while lauding the cooperation of ministers and government officials in Nazaha’s efforts to eradicate corruption in the Kingdom.
He said that some minor corruption cases are currently being tried in regional courts, but in future trial of all corruption cases will be held in the special courts in Riyadh.
Al-Kahmous revealed that it has come to the notice of Nazaha that there are many instances of bribery cases where bribes were being paid, outside the Kingdom in connection with projects within the Kingdom.
“The issue of recovering assets from abroad is a complicated one and it takes a long time. However, we will work hard around the clock to tackle this issue with the competent authorities,” he said.
Al-Kahmous stressed that there is clear and explicit directive from the leadership that there won’t be any tolerance in corruption cases.
“The cooperation of ministers and officials with Nazaha is an evidence of national consciousness and a positive initiative toward eliminating corruption in the Kingdom.”
He pointed out that international organizations that evaluate the Kingdom internationally in anti-corruption indicators sometimes take their information randomly and wrongly without verifying it.
“We are working to be a leader in fighting corruption at the level of the Arab world.” The Nazaha chief called on the government agencies to work with high transparency in announcing vacancies of jobs and the results of applications submitted to fill the vacancies.
He said that Nazaha receives information from both citizens and expatriates within the Kingdom and outside. “If the tip was found to be true, the authority will guarantee full protection to the employee who gave the information by giving him full protection and return him all his rights related to his job, he added.