A prominent Saudi billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has been released from a two-month detention after paying a settlement in an anti-corruption bust. Alwaleed was being detained at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was detained in November after the new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman implemented a crackdown on corruption in the wealthy state.
Hours after his release, he gave a tour of his palatial ‘cell’ at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh to counter rumours of torture or mistreatment and gloss over the allegations against him.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was one of the 17 princes and top officials who were arrested in November in the government crackdown. Alwaleed is one of the richest men in the world, with an estimated net worth of about $17 billion. In his first interview since he was taken into custody, he maintained his innocence and described his confinement as a misunderstanding.
Photograph: Katie Paul/Reuters
The prince's cell, which was a room at the luxurious Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, had a kitchen, entirely stocked with vegetarian meals as per his request. Photograph: Katie Paul/Reuters
He also showed off the comforts of his gold-accented private office. Photograph: Katie Paul/Reuters
The prince said he was able to communicate with family members and executives at his business during his time in detention. Photograph: Katie Paul/Reuters
Hotel officials announced that it would reopen to the public on February 14, booking rooms for $650 to $7,000 a night. Photograph: Katie Paul/Reuters
After being released, Prince Alwaleed said, he plans to continue living in Saudi Arabia and to return to the challenge of juggling his global business interests. Photograph: Katie Paul/Reuters