Egypt’s former security chief during the Mubarak-era, notorious for his track record of brutality and use of torture, has been reportedly serving as an advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid Riyadh’s mass purge of the country’s royals and top businessmen.
The news comes following reports that as many as 17 high-profile figures recently detained in Saudi Arabia during Riyadh’s so-called anti-corruption campaign required medical treatment after they sustained serious injuries under beatings and torture.
- Senior Saudi figures beaten, tortured in custody: Report
According to the New York Times, Habib el-Adly is currently serving as an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed, one of his advisers and a former Egyptian interior minister said.
Adly currently faces corruption charges over embezzlement of $6.9 million from the assets of the Egyptian Interior Ministry.
In reaction to the New York Times, Adly’s lawyer said he has not left the country and that his defendant is still in Cairo waiting to attend his next trial session on January 11 next year.
Authorities at the Saudi Royal Court referred press queries about the issue to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, where a spokeswoman, Fatimah Baeshen, said the diplomatic mission could not confirm or dispute the reports.
On November 4, dozens of Saudi princes, ministers, and former ministers were detained on the orders of Saudi Arabia’s so-called Anti-Corruption Committee headed by the crown prince.
Former spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan as well as billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal are among the notable businessmen and royals incarcerated.
The detained individuals are facing allegations of money laundering, bribery, extorting officials, and misappropriation of public funds for personal benefits.
The crackdown is believed to be a self-promotion campaign launched by the crown prince aimed at consolidating his power.
The MEE’s sources said the number of the arrestees actually stood at more than 500, and that twice that number had been questioned.
According to Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, the authorities had questioned 208 people in the “anti-corruption investigation.” They estimated that “at least $100 billion” had been misused by the suspects through systematic graft and embezzlement over several decades.
The kingdom also blocked the assets of the crown prince’s cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, who reportedly continues to be under house arrest.
Nayef was the crown prince until June when he was ousted by King Salman and replaced by his son.
The purge followed an earlier roundup of Muslim clerics, writers, economists, and public figures.
Saudi Arabia’s ailing 81-year-old monarch has been reportedly suffering from partial dementia and is said to be contemplating an abdication in favor of his son.
Many political observers interpret the entire crackdown as a purge against dissent before the crown prince’s rise to power.
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