Riyadh: US media reported Friday that Saudi authorities had arrested three princes, including King Salman’s brother and cousin, on charges of planning a coup. This marks a further consolidation of power by Saudi de facto rulers.
The detention leaves the last traces of potential opposition of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia restricts access to the most sacred places of Islam with very sensitive actions to curb the speed of Coronavirus sent.
The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources that said King Salman’s brother, Ahmed Bin Abdul-Aziz, Saudi Arabia, and Prince Mohammed Bin Nayev, King’s cousin, were accused of Treason and were on Friday and Friday by a royal guard in black.
The newspaper said the Saudi royal court accused the two, who were once potential candidates of the throne, of “planning a coup to prevent the king and the crown prince from taking their place” and being able to undergo life imprisonment or execution.
The New York Times also reported on detention and added that Prince Nawaf’s brother, Prince Nawaf, has also been detained.
Saudi authorities did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The detention marked the last repression by Prince Mohammed, who consolidated his control of power by imprisoning prominent ministers and activists, as well as princes and business elites.
Prince Mohammed was also internationally convicted of the murder of critic Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate of the country in Istanbul in October 2018.
The prince has been seen as the de facto ruler, who controls all major government levers from defense to the economy, and it was widely believed that he eliminated internal division before his 84-year-old father, King Salman, officially transferred power.
Becca Wasser, a policy analyst at RAND Corporation in the US, said about the recent performance: “Prince Mohammed is very brave – he has rejected any promotion to him. Threatening, critics of his regime were sentenced to imprisonment or murder without any answer.”
“This is a step to further strengthen his power and convey the message to everyone, including members of the royal family, do not pass him over.”