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Saudi Arabia Reduces the Sentence of a US Doctor of Saudi Origin

The Saudi Appeals Court documents revealed that it reduced a six-year prison sentence against a US doctor of Saudi origin to nearly half the suspended period, which means that he will not spend more time in prison.

The authorities arrested the well-known doctor, Walid Fitaihi, in 2017 as part of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s anti-corruption campaign, and last month he was sentenced to six years in prison.

Washington is following his case closely, and members of the US Senate condemned the ruling.

Fitaihi, who was also sentenced last month to a six-year travel ban, had not yet begun to implement his sentence because he was awaiting the outcome of his appeal.

According to the documents issued on January 14, the Court of Appeal’s ruling reduced his prison sentence to about three years and two months, and reduced his travel ban to 38 months.

The incarceration of investors and several members of the Saudi royal family on charges of corruption on 4 November 2017 are evidence of the fact that Saudi Arabia’s domestic orientation is being shaped by the strategic agenda of the Salman clan, to which the present regent, King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – also known as MbS – belong. This is about the consolidation and centralization of MbS’s power in a bid to prepare him to take over from his father and to catapult him into the generation of Al Saud grandchildren who hold the reins of power in the kingdom.

Although the arrests were entirely legal and even had the benevolent support of the clergy, it seems increasingly plain that there was method in the selective actions of the recently established anti-corruption authority.