Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sits for an interview with Reuters in the office of the suite where he has been detained at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 27, 2018, REUTERS/Katie Paul
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Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained in the kingdom's sweeping corruption crackdown, said Saturday that he expected to be cleared of any wrongdoing and released from custody within days, his vast assets intact. Prince Alwaleed was speaking in an exclusive interview with Reuters at his suite in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel, transformed into a luxurious prison to hold tycoons and royals.Prince Alwaleed was an early advocate of women's employment in Saudi Arabia and a lifting of the ban on women driving.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.The release of Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion, is likely to reassure investors in his global business empire as well as in the Saudi economy broadly.Allegations against Prince Alwaleed included money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, a Saudi official told Reuters at the time.Prince Alwaleed said his own case was taking longer to conclude because he was determined to clear his name completely, but he believed the case was now 95 percent finished.
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