Saudi Arabia's detained former crown prince 'denied medical visits'

Saudi Arabia's detained former crown prince 'denied medical visits'
Lawyers representing Mohammed bin Nayef said the former crown prince was being denied medical care in detention.
2 min read
24 August, 2020
MbN was considered a potential rival to Crown Prince MbS [Getty]
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Nayef is being denied visits by his doctor during detention, lawyers representing the former crown prince told The Financial Times

Bin Nayef's whereabouts remains unknown, the report said, citing lawyers who requested anonymity, while his family have not been able to visit him since he was detained.

"They don't know where he's being held, all the phone conversations [with the prince] are very superficial, this is quite a dire situation," the lawyers were quoted by The Financial Times as saying.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef - also known as MbN - was considered a potential rival to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who became Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler after pressuring MbN to resign.

On Sunday, reports warned of a new string of arrests allegedly carried out by Saudi authorities against relatives of former intelligence officer Saad Al-Jabri, who was a trusted advisor to MbN.

Al-Jabri filed a lawsuit in the US this month accusing MbS of sending a hit squad to assassinate him in exile in Canada.

"[Prince Mohammed bin Nayef's] current circumstances - and the fact that no independent source has been able to verify his wellbeing - suggest that any instructions purporting to be coming from him should not be actioned upon, as they do not appear to have been made legitimately by [him] of his own accord," the lawyers told FT.

The lawyers feared MbN's wife and children - who have been barred from leaving Saudi Arabia for over a year - could be  the next targets of MbS' crackdown on the royal family, which is seen as a way of him consolidating power.

Read also: Detained Saudi prince 'hospitalised after heart attack', Saudi Arabia says in later-deleted tweet

Saudi investigators allege that bin Nayef siphoned off billions of riyals through a number of front companies and private accounts when he led counter-terrorism programmes at the interior ministry.

Claims of corruption have been rejected by those close to him who said the accounts are standard procedures for funding counter-terrorism programmes.

Bin Nayef served as chief assistant to his father, then-Interior Minister Prince Nayef, as Washington's pointman in a crackdown on Al-Qaeda.

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