JEDDAH: Eleven Saudi princes who gathered at the Government Palace demanding the cancellation of the royal decree on the suspension of the payment of electricity and water bills by the royals were arrested, Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mujib said in a statement on Saturday.
“The princes also demanded financial compensation for the death sentence against one of their cousins. They were informed of their wrong approach, but they refused to leave the site. A royal directive was issued to arrest them and they were sent to Al-Hair prison, pending trial,” said the statement.
“We emphasize here that the royal directives are clear that all citizens are equal before the law, and those who fail to abide by the regulations and instructions will be held accountable whoever they are,” said the statement.
The statement confirms earlier reports carried by local online newspaper Sabq. The website has reported that a battalion of the Saudi Royal Guard arrested 11 princes who gathered at the Riyadh Ruling Palace for the same reasons that were later mentioned in the attorney general’s statement.
After being informed that their demands to be exempted from paying the bills were rejected, the princes refused to leave the palace and, hence, the Royal Guard was ordered to intervene and detain them.
Ever since King Salman ascended to the throne in 2015, he has introduced measures that ensured that members of the royal family are held equally accountable before the law.
He approved of the beheading of a prince who killed a member of the public.
In a TV interview, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who is credited with the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 — made it clear that the country’s reform plans will not tolerate corruption, nor will they allow anyone, regardless of their status or position, to receive a special treatment when it comes to paying utility bills.