Riyadh "Riyadh Daily"
Uprooting Corruption

The public scene inside the Kingdom, since the announcement of Vision 2030, confirms that it is changing rapidly and comprehensively. The wise leadership saw that this change cannot be achieved without addressing mistakes, foremost of which is the fight against corruption and the prosecution of corrupt officials who took advantage of their positions and influence to achieve personal interests to the detriment of the public interest. 

The hand of justice did not differentiate between a prince and an ordinary official. Everyone is equal before the courts. The events of the "Ritz-Carlton Hotel" were not far from us, as the world followed them closely.

Yesterday, the statement of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) on disciplinary and criminal cases carried an important and urgent message for all, that the government is still moving forward in combating corruption of all kinds, in order to purify the State's institutions of corrupt people at all career levels, and that this policy continues in an explicit translation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince - may Allah protect them - who believe that the plans and programs of Vision 2030 are not realized on the ground since there corrupt people who are able to waste the efforts made to develop the country and take it to a new era.

The statement came after a period of relative calm in which we did not hear about corruption or prosecution of corrupt cases, that some thought that such cases had receded or ended irreversibly. Yet, the statement surprised everyone with 298 corrupt officials in many of the State's agencies, including the sensitive ones, such as the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, and the judicial facility, and it reached the universities. These were confirmed to be involved in bribery crimes and the exploitation of their positions and influence, in obtaining about 379 million riyals of public money, and they had to be tried in complete calm, without media fuss, and then to announce the results.

The statement affirms the State's principles in fighting corruption. No one is above accountability, regardless of their position, military rank, or the authority in which they work, whether sovereign or service, military or civil. In addition, corruption cases are imprescriptible. The restoration of public money is a lofty goal decided by the State to preserve the nation's gains, to restore it from the hands of weak souls who took advantage of their job positions to achieve their narrow private interests.

In addition to the above, the investigations of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha), including retired persons or have left the service for the State, confirms that everyone involved in a corruption case will not escape punishment even if they quits their job. All of these constants combined confirm only one thing, which is that the Kingdom starts a new era of comprehensive reform and hard work that secrete corruption and the corrupt.

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