New Age Islam Edit Bureau
09 December 2017
Yemen Will Not Accept the Houthis, Not After 1,000 Years
By Huda Al-Husseini
The Alliance between Saudi Arabia and the UAE
By Mashari Althaydi
US Prez Has Mastered the Art of Provocation
By Ishaan Tharoor
The Palestinian Authority and the Manufacturing of Rage
By Jalal Abukhater
What Jerusalem Means To Turkey
By Sinem Cengiz
Egypt Demands US Help — As Long As It Is On Our Terms
By Mohammed Nosseir
Attorney General’s Statement Enshrines Saudi Ideals of Rule of Law
By Abdulrahman Al-Lahim
Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau
8 December 2017
It is Yemen. Is it happy? No. A former Yemeni official talked a while ago about five presidents in the south and five in the north and their fate which, due to violence, was either exile or death. This is the nature of givens in Yemen as those who do not get exiled get killed. All givens, including Monday’s developments, were not any different. The expected murder happened. It was no surprise but it was painful.
My source, the Yemeni official, asked: “Does the new given yield a new result? No. The most significant thing in the most recent development was displaying the bodies. This happened for the first time in Yemen as political violence in the country has not produced this ‘tazir’, (i.e. punishment for offenses at the discretion of the judge or ruler) due to social and tribal aspects. This shocked the Yemenis because it does not harmonize with their social or political behaviour.”
It thus happened for the first time with a Yemeni president, regardless of whether he was from the north or the south. Men were murdered before without even declaring where they were buried but the shock today is much worse. I asked my source about this development and he said: “We are not dealing with a political party but with an ideological one that believes what it did on Monday will help it go to heaven. There is a change in the political map as we’ve currently entered the phase of political Islam. This is why political Islam parties, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Houthis, adopted a vengeful rhetoric.”
He added: “If you follow up on the Qatari Al-Jazeera channel, you will be in pain as it’s still referring to Ali Abdullah Saleh as the ‘ousted president’ which is a term that does not suit a murdered man. Brotherhood supporters who appear on Al-Jazeera channel also adopt a vengeful rhetoric. This behaviour is new to the Yemenis.”
Killing in Cold Blood
I asked him about Abdulmalik Al-Houthi and told him how I noticed on Al-Mayadeen television channel that he vengefully spoke with a great sense of victory. “Yes, he spoke calmly. It’s like killing in cold blood. He is today talking on behalf of mercy killing. We will enter a new phase of violence and it will be fierce.”
The scene today came as a shock to Saleh’s family and to the General People’s Congress. We’re talking about 30 or 40 years here, i.e. entire generations which never worked with any leader but Saleh. We politically disagreed with him but we did not wish that he dies. The psychological state today is complicated and it hurts us. It’s not just due to the deaths happening but also due to the vengeful approach around us. The other party is in shock, and the real patriotic party and all these developments will put us through a new swirl of violence.”
But will this swirl of violence be just among Yemenis?
He said: “We are talking about a Yemeni-Yemeni swirl of violence. The issue of a foreign or regional factor is just a supporting factor here but the Yemenis are psychologically prepared. Therefore, any regional or international interventions come within a prepared psychological context.”
He added: “How can one remove the evil which happened today. The Houthis’ speeches and practices made me realize that they do not want to schedule a political session or sit for dialogue. They need a mental institute. They talked about murder as an act that will lead them to heaven. For me, Abdulmalik al-Houthi’s appearance today is just like Osama bin Laden’s. If you notice, Bin Ladeh has the same soft and calm character as he speaks. Today, I saw Bin Laden before me as Abdulmalik spoke. He talks about death and murder in a calm and soft way, as if nothing happened. This is abnormal behaviour that cannot be eliminated via politics. It needs more to be eliminated, just like al-Qaeda and other groups were eliminated. This behaviour by the Houthis is new to Yemen. There’s no way for engaging in politics or shaking hands or reaching peace with them. Their past behaviour and what we’ve seen in the past 48 hours imply they are in a state of ecstasy that will drag the country and the region to the abyss.”
What’s happening in Yemen will affect our brothers all the way to the African horn. The dangerous repercussions of violence will not only be seen in Yemen.
What will come afterwards? He said: “The violence will be worse.”
Will the Muslim Brotherhood meet with the Houthis? He said: “No. I expect them to meet with the ‘congress’ because both parties drank the same poison. What happened to the Brotherhood made them escape while those in the ‘congress’ were braver on the ground. The Brotherhood too had the state of treachery. I expect Al-Islah Party (the Brotherhood) to meet with the ‘congress’ or for the region to help in their meeting.”
What pushed President Saleh to contact the coalition and announce his willingness to work with it and save whatever is left of Yemen? He said: “I will use a simple language. He was like a cat who when cornered jumps. He had two options, either to poison himself, like what happened at the International Court of Justice, or resist. He is brave. He resisted and did not give up. The Houthis cornered him. They approached his residence and his guards made a decision to besiege him. In the last 72 hours, they wanted to take his personal guard, his nephew Tarek Mohammed Abullah Saleh who was his right arm. They thought Saleh will surrender and meet his fate or defend himself and get lucky and survive.”
What’s the Iranian role now? He said: “Iran considers what happened as victory. However, history taught us all about temporary and fake victories. Those who read Yemen’s history and the region’s history or human history can see that what happened is a national and humanitarian disaster.”
What is the role which the Arab region can play to confront this Iranian ecstasy? There is a new phase of alert. There are manifestations of a clear upcoming vision and the issue is no longer linked to matters of peace. The issue, in my opinion, revolves around two axes: the region’s victory or defeat, and its tools are the power machine and the roughness machine and nothing more.
I asked: Will all the Yemeni people accept that the Houthis rule all of Yemen? He said: “No, not after 1,000 years. I am basing my words on experience. They are abnormal people. They do not seek political peace but political religion and when religion gets involved, politics is distorted. The core problem is now between the Yemeni groups. The missiles launched reflect the madness, so imagine giving them power. Imagine if North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is here in the region. Will I give him a chance to organize himself or get rid of him?”
Will the region succeed or in this new case it will need real international support? He said: “What’s happening today is a Yemeni phenomenon. I think the international community is aware that Houthi parties are not political parties that can be dealt with.”
Will this affect Yemen’s unity? “Yes, it will greatly affect it. The southern mood today does not want to stay in this swirl of violence which will last for long. Today it’s not possible to co-exist with the mentality of the other party, whether it’s the Muslim Brotherhood or the Houthis. Attempts to end the unity will continue and some sort of negotiation is a must.”
My source concluded: The mistakes which maintained the same approaches that led Yemen to where it is today must not be repeated, or else we will descend from one failure to another.”
The UAE has announced setting up of a joint Saudi-Emirati committee to deepen work and unite it. The decision was made before the recent Gulf summit held in Kuwait concluded.
This summit was only held to guarantee that this council does not collapse and it was not held to reconcile with Qatar and it does not reflect a political victory for the latter like its media has been promoting.
The decision to form the committee was made by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan and he assigned Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed as its chief. This committee is a culmination of the robust alliance between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It’s an alliance that forms the backbone of Gulf security and Arab security.
According to official news reports, the committee’s task is to coordinate between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in military, political, economic, commercial and cultural fields and other fields as required by the two countries’ interests. The committee will also have the jurisdictions required to carry out its work.
Before this “practical” committee was formed, a coordination council between the two countries headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan was established.
The council will periodically meet in the UAE and Saudi Arabia alternately. The council’s chief can form joint committees whenever needed and he can assign these committees’ members. The committees will also periodically meet and the meetings will be alternately held in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
This yielded the Determination Retreat, when officials from both countries held their first meeting in Abu Dhabi for several days.
All these measures are meant to strengthen cooperation and synergy between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Challenges in Yemen, Qatar, Iraq and other crises in the region revealed the importance of solidifying this alliance, not just on the military, security and political level but also on the economic, cultural, administrative and sports level.
Is this an alternative to the Gulf Cooperation Council, as some said – either out of ill intentions as seen in the Qatari media or out of good intentions as seen via others?
I do not think so but there is a desperate need and an urgent situation for this alliance. There is no time to waste in Gulf disputes like the case is with Qatar and perhaps with Oman. Time must not be wasted in procrastination and trivialization like the case is with Kuwait.
There are real threats and wars that affect the core of Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini and even Kuwaiti security. These threats are posed by Iran and its tools in the region and by political Islam groups, such as the Brotherhood and groups which branched from them such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. These threats must be strongly, seriously and decisively confronted “now.”
The GCC will stay with its idle and slow rhythm; however, it’s not enough for the efforts and work required today.
US Prez Has Mastered The Art Of Provocation
December 7, 2017
US position has been that Jerusalem's final status would be determined as part of a lasting peace deal
There is a small constituency in the United States that genuinely cares about the location of the American Embassy in Israel. Evangelicals and a right-wing, pro-Israel lobby were thrilled by President Trump's campaign promised to reverse decades of US policy by recognising a "united" Jerusalem as Israel's capital and shifting the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv. At a speech on Wednesday, Trump outlined his plans to do just that.
While that is happy news for some of his core supporters - as well as the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - the proposed move risks starting new fires in the Middle East and attracting the fury of the international community.
Jerusalem, holy to all three Abrahamic faiths, is at the heart of the territorial conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sees the city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians consider majority-Arab East Jerusalem to be the future seat of an independent Palestine. No country keeps its embassy there, and the long-standing US position has been that Jerusalem's final status would be determined only as part of a lasting peace deal.
Now, it seems, Trump is set to reverse that order - though not decisively. The president may both officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and do what his predecessors have done for two decades: sign a waiver that comes up twice a year, deferring any shift of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv.
The confused manoeuvre would create a "situation that leaves us in a half-pregnant state," Dan Shapiro, who served as US ambassador to Israel under the Obama administration said. "It creates big controversy for little gain. Our broader goal of achieving two states is not advanced, and what this achieves for either side is unclear."
In recent days, Trump spoke by phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah II of Jordan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, briefing them on his plans regarding Jerusalem. No one seems to have taken the news very well.
Arab governments that have been friendly to Trump issued stern warnings. "King Abdullah stressed that the adoption of this resolution will have serious implications for security and stability in the Middle East, and will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process and fuel the feelings of Muslims and Christians," a statement from Amman read.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, King Salman told the White House that a recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world."
Palestinian factions have announced three "days of rage," starting Wednesday, in protest. They see recognition of an "undivided" Jerusalem as the Israeli capital as a tacit acceptance of the continued Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. The US Consulate in Jerusalem warned US nationals and government employees of potential threats to their safety, and Palestinians burned effigies of Trump in the city of Bethlehem on Tuesday night.
"A decision such as this is both morally wrong and politically dangerous," Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said.
"Not only is Donald Trump deliberately insulting the Palestinian people, but also Arabs and Muslims around the world. In doing so, he is relinquishing what little credibility the United States had left in a region that is already rife with conflict and division."
Ayman Odeh, an Arab Israeli lawmaker and head of the third-largest bloc in Israel's parliament, was even more blunt. "Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the region on fire with his madness," he wrote on Twitter.
Shapiro, the former US ambassador, contends that there is theoretically no harm in moving the US Embassy to West Jerusalem - provided, first, that Trump makes clear that East Jerusalem has a different status and, second, that he conducts "a lot of preparatory diplomacy and consultation." Trump would need to consult with Arab officials in particular to minimise backlash and keep Palestinian officials willing to negotiate.
But Trump's decision has reportedly taken Arab leaders largely by surprise, raising questions about the White House's ultimate strategy and intentions. It also calls into question the future of the administration's effort to restart the peace process. "The United States has attempted to shepherd the so-called 'peace process' on the basis that it can play the role of mediator. But by clearly adopting an Israeli position as its own, it makes clear it is not even pretending anymore," Munayyer said.
The administration could be banking on a changing environment in the Middle East, with the region fractured by the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and Israel developing closer ties with a host of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia. But that may prove to be a mistaken gambit.
"The move would go against the very priorities that the administration has set for itself in the Middle East: fighting militancy and confronting Iranian influence," wrote Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution. "Jerusalem is the perfect issue for Iran and militants to use to mobilise support against the United States and those who endorse its policies."
Over the weekend, the president's son-in-law and Middle East peace envoy, Jared Kushner, told a Washington gathering that Trump had not made a final decision on Jerusalem.
Now that Trump has made the move, Kushner's task may be simply impossible. "If you're about to launch a major peace plan," said Ilan Goldenberg of the Centre for a New American Security, "the last thing you want to do is take this highly sensitive question of Jerusalem and just throw it into the mix." -The Washington Post
The news cycle, political statements, and protests around Jerusalem over the past few days felt a bit off. As a resident of Jerusalem, I do not feel the genuine emotion of anger that would usually accompany such a media circus.
Earlier this week, news outlets went all out, prophesying riots, blood, further regional instability or even war if Donald Trump were to announce Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Political leaders globally expressed a similar sentiment in their opposition to Trump's announcement, warning that it would "plunge the region into further endless crisis". The Palestinian Authority (PA), joined by most Palestinian political factions, declared "days of rage" if Trump were to go ahead with his announcement.
To those of us on the ground in Jerusalem, this rage felt like it was being manufactured top-down. Everyone else is predicting that the situation in Jerusalem will worsen; as if we were all okay yesterday. This made me think of all the raging international voices as unaware of the violent reality Jerusalemites suffer on a daily basis in a city that Israel has unilaterally acted upon as its capital for a long time.
Palestinian Jerusalemites are suffocating, and that is why most of them do not share the angst of other national and international voices. We live under systematic and institutionalised violence where our schools get tear gassed, children are arrested, homes get demolished, neighbourhoods are neglected, culture is suppressed, and "residency permits" confiscated at any moment the occupying Israeli authorities wish to do so.
Back in July, when Israeli authorities attempted to impose humiliating security measures at the gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the Palestinians rose to protest and organised from the bottom-up. The organising force behind the well-sustained protests was purely community driven and rejected attempts of co-option by the Palestinian Authority or the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.
At the heart of this manufactured rage is a panicking Palestinian Authority that can undoubtedly see its thin veil of legitimacy slipping away. What Donald Trump accomplished with his announcement on Jerusalem is exposing the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" as what it truly is, a sham.
In the modern history of Palestine, there had never been a Palestinian leadership more willing to compromise for the sake of achieving some sort of independent Palestinian State as this current Palestinian leadership headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Yet, despite every sign of non-cooperation, stubbornness, and continued violation of international law by the Israeli government, the myth of the "peace process" survived, thanks to the Palestinian Authority. It is, after all, the main reason it exists.
When the peace process fails, the Palestinian Authority loses the purpose that justifies its continued existence. This would cause panic, and subsequently explains the manufactured nature of the current wave of "rage".
We, the Palestinians, have put all our eggs in one basket, the American basket, despite all signs and indications advising us against doing so. It was an ill-thought-out gamble by the leadership, a gamble that is clearly unravelling with Donald Trump's administration.
Trump is not a stable man, nor is he fit for taking the lead on such an issue of grand scale. The signs are there, whether it's Donald Trump's warm relationship with billionaire supporter Sheldon Adelson, or Jared Kushner cosying up to major Democratic Party donor Haim Saban, who share a similar agenda on Israel.
During his visit to Bethlehem last May, Trump allegedly shouted at Abbas "You tricked me in [Washington] DC! You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement [against Israel]." For the Palestinians, this was a red flag, evidence of how easily the US president can be manipulated by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu.
Last July, during the al-Aqsa compound protests, I saw people from all wakes of life, practising Muslims, non-practising Muslims, and Christians, taking part in directly protesting the closure of al-Aqsa. There was an extraordinary spirit of unity among Jerusalemites, and the anger felt true, honest and full of life. I fail to see that same spirit reflected on the streets in today's anger protests.
Palestinian political leaders' hasty calls for rage, protests, and Intifada are unconvincing. Many see those calls as an attempt to cover the failure of the Palestinian Authority, others see it as the leadership attempting to extend its lifeline and recreate some sort of legitimacy to justify its continued existence.
If there is any remaining interest for a two-state solution in Palestine, a global - especially European - firm recognition of a 1967-border Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as capital - could be that lifeline for the Palestinian Authority. If that does not happen, then the remaining two paths are both equally murky.
One would be the acceptance of the status quo, meaning Palestinians continue to suffocate, suffer, and perish without any hope for major change. The other would be the Palestinian Authority declaring itself obsolete and out-of-function, leaving the Israeli occupying power fully responsible for the occupied Palestinian population in accordance with international law.
We are walking into this "wave of rage" blind, craving any light that we can cling to in this gloomy tunnel. For too long, we Palestinians have managed to exaggerate minor scenarios, looked only at the positive aspects, and allowed ourselves to become very hopeful. Today, we do not know what is going to happen next. We are scared and quickly losing hope.
By Sinem Cengiz
9 December 2017
The diplomatic status of Jerusalem, or Al-Quds in Arabic, is one of the world’s most complex and sensitive issues. Jerusalem is considered holy by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and any change in the status of the city risks vast repercussions across the Middle East. The status of Jerusalem is a key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming the city as their capital. According to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accord, the city’s final status is meant to be discussed in later peace talks.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced plans to relocate the US Embassy there, a move expected to increase tensions and lead to violence at a time there is more than enough chaos in the Middle East.
One of the decision’s most vocal critics is Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has called Jerusalem “a red line for Muslims.” He said the move amounted to “throwing the region into a circle of fire.”
Erdogan has conducted talks with several Arab and Muslim leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the heads of states of Malaysia, Tunisia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia. He has called for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to hold an emergency meeting in Istanbul on Dec. 13 to discuss the situation.
“As the temporary president of the OIC, we will follow this issue very closely,” Erdogan said.
Ankara believes that East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine in a two-state solution along the lines of 1967. Turkey is opposed to Israel’s acting as if Jerusalem is its own property and to the “Judaisation” of the contested city.
Turkey has tried for a long time to be a relevant player in the peace process. For Turkey, Al-Quds has been an issue where all segments of society and all political parties shared a common view.
The US decision has — somewhat — united opposite sides in Turkey. All four parties in the Turkish Parliament signed a joint statement late on Wednesday, declaring Turkey’s resolve to reject the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
At the local level in Turkey, the response was also harsh, with several protests outside the American Consulate in Istanbul and American Embassy in Ankara.
Erdogan has said Turkey could go as far as to sever all ties with Israel. After six years of stagnant diplomatic relations, Israel and Turkey signed a comprehensive reconciliation deal last year.
On July 23, 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem its eternal capital. Following the ratification of this decision, Turkey closed its consulate in Jerusalem. As in the past, Turkey is expected to solve the current issue through diplomatic channels.
Turkey’s relations with its NATO ally America are no bed of roses. The Jerusalem issue could be the final straw in relationships between the two countries. Indeed, Trump’s move may draw Turkey, which is in close contact with Russia and Iran as part of Astana process for Syria, closer to Tehran. Iran was also among the countries that rejected the idea of relocation of the US Embassy.
Jerusalem and the History Of Dec. 9
In the words of prominent Middle East scholar Fred Halliday: “It is certainly important to look at history, and for two reasons above all: History is necessary to explain why countries act as they do, and, equally, to provide a basis for analyzing how states, and their opponents, claim to use, select and falsify history to justify what they do.”
On Dec. 9, 1917, during World War I, British forces led by Gen. Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire.
On Dec. 9, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with the city of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum (separate entity), to be governed by an international regime.
On Dec. 9, 1987, the first intifada began in the Gaza Strip after a 17-year-old threw a Molotov cocktail at an army patrol and was killed by a Israeli soldier. His death triggered mass riots that engulfed the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.
Fast-forward to today, Dec. 9, 2017. It is 100 years since the British captured Jerusalem from Ottoman hands. But the city still occupies the world agenda, unfortunately.
What Egyptians want from the US is a seemingly endless list of very complicated demands that may conflict with one another if truly addressed. Egyptians wonder why America, as a global superpower and the largest economy on earth, does not offer its full-fledged support to our country — especially after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, whom we, among a few other countries, hoped would win the presidency.
Egyptians want the US administration to help resolve Egypt’s economic challenges by investing a tiny percentage of its national budget in our economy, along with increasing economic aid substantially. In addition, we want the US to help us to settle our regional disputes by imposing our government’s political viewpoint on the nations with whom we are in conflict. While Egyptians are busy adding to their demands, we have not bothered to find reasonable justifications as to how the US would benefit by acceding.
Egyptians view successful foreign relations as “friendships with one-way benefits” (in our favor, obviously). We believe that other nations should be committed to helping us either because we once supported them a few decades ago or because, by strengthening the Egyptian state, they too will benefit. While we want the US and other nations to act on our demands, the Egyptian government believes foreign nations should not interfere in our domestic affairs; even the offer of advice is viewed as an attack on our national sovereignty.
The majority of our citizens tend to adhere to our inherited thinking pattern, including people who have permanently immigrated to other nations (but refrained from truly absorbing the cultures of their adopted homelands). Large numbers of well-educated Egyptians, some of whom have been living in the US for years, endorse this political proposition. Not making room for understanding other nations’ political dynamics has trapped us into over-anticipating their willingness to support us.
The Egyptian government and its cronies had imagined that, once Trump came to power, the growing wish list that had been stuck away in a drawer for years would be transformed into purchase orders paid for by the new American administration. They believed that President Trump would immediately instruct his officials to respond positively to our demands. This belief was demonstrated by the dispatch of various semi-governmental delegations to meet with US decision-makers; a move that, unknown to us, ended up harming our position further.
Our incomplete understanding of the political dynamics of many foreign nations, including the US, has widened and intensified our regional and international quarrels. Why should any nation work on increasing its enemies by adopting Egypt’s political agenda? Granting Egypt’s political and economic demands, which include pressuring nations with whom we are in conflict, will place other nations in impartial positions — even if our state’s demands are justified.
Meanwhile, the US and other nations often suggest alternative approaches to our problems, and we tend either to overlook their gestures or to neglect their advice, believing that our tactics will serve us better. Furthermore, most foreign countries still prefer to discuss their political disputes with Egypt behind closed doors; thus, our citizens are left in the dark, with the result that we don’t know our friends from our foes.
As our wishes and demands accumulate, the Egyptian state persistently hints to its citizens of the need for extreme caution when dealing with foreign nations. Thus, even if the US administration was to decide to comply with the entirety of Egypt’s requests, Egyptians would still question the political motives behind the Americans’ move. Within the current conspiracy theory framework, the US, and other nations, will always be viewed as the beneficiaries of their relationship with Egypt, regardless of their genuine support efforts or financial aid.
Attorney General’s Statement Enshrines Saudi Ideals Of Rule Of Law
By Abdulrahman al-Lahim
The statement of the Attorney General regarding the detainees involved in corruption cases, whose number I believe exceeds 320, goes beyond the issue of corruption as a whole and to the very important principle of the rule of law, which is now the main feature of the Saudi state.
When the Attorney-General speaks about the trial and the legal guarantees for suspects and the accused in a large case involving the inviolability of public funds, the office affirms the right of every human being to a fair trial according to legal guarantees and that the accused still retains presumption of innocence, which effectively means that the Public Prosecution may not win all of its cases before the courts against the accused, or that the court may not accept all the requests of the Public Prosecution because both sides stand equal in the eyes of law.
These principles, when issued by the Attorney-General and in a very sensitive case, suggest something highly significant taking place in the country, in that it is not shirking away from taking bold and major steps in the judicial system.
It is noteworthy that the High Commission was formed by Royal decree to look into old corruption cases, which have been pending for decades and have become increasingly intractable as much time elapsed or evidence lost and in some cases even witnesses have either died or have migrated out of the country.
As such, such policies of the Supreme Committee do not imply that it is conciliatory in approach because future issues will be dealt with in accordance with normal legal strictures, and will not be abandoned until the evidence is lost.
The formation of the Supreme Committee is the beginning of a process wherein the ills of corruption are looked into in all seriousness and due rigor. It commenced with the arrest of known corrupt figures, which was confirmed by the Crown Prince, Chairman of the Supreme Committee Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Thus, law will confront anyone who dares to steal public money through state-controlled institutions and that people involved in corruption could never assume they are above the law.