Why Saudi Prince bin Talal’s ‘friends’ have abandoned him, by Jake Novak

Saudi Prince bin Talal is discovering who his true friends are, and it’s probably a lot fewer people than he thought. From Jake Novak at cnbc.com:

  • Investing celebrity Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has now been detained and reportedly tortured for more than three weeks.
  • The political and financial world has remained mostly silent or at least relatively calm about it.
  • Here are the uncomfortable political and financial reasons his so-called friends appear to have abandoned him.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal

Mohammad Obaidi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal

One of the world’s richest men and most sought-after investors has been under arrest and even reportedly tortured for more than three weeks.

That man is billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He owns major stakes in Twitter and Citigroup. He was a key shareholder in 21stCentury FOX. His television interviews, including on CNBC, are promoted with “must-watch” status. He’s routinely called the “Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.”

But since November 5, bin Talal has been detained in a room at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. The hotel has become a de facto prison for more than 200 of his fellow princes and Saudi officials as new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman conducts a sweeping and stunning purge of his real and potential political opponents.

To make matters worse, several credible reports have surfaced that bin Talal and the others are being tortured. One report says he’s been hung upside down and beaten. Those stories gained a level of credence earlier this week when another prince, Miteb bin Abdullah, paid a reported $1 billion for his freedom.
As bin Salman pushes to beef up Saudi Arabia’s military power and alliances against Iran, the official reason for these arrests is that they are part of an “anti-corruption probe.” But of course, the kingdom is not presenting anything in the way of documented evidence. That’s not how they roll in a regime that Human Rights Watch points out has no written penal code or criminal rights.

 

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