Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets Saudi king, crown prince

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Most of those detained in a sweeping anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia have agreed settlements with the authorities in exchange for a pardon, the attorney general says.

Other prominent figures on the list included former United States presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, former director of the FBI James Comey and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with 4 per cent each.

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The 65-year-old son of the late King Abdullah was the most politically influential royal detained under the orders of a newly formed anti-corruption committee headed by his 32-year-old cousin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

An official involved in the investigation told Reuters news agency the settlement agreed by the prince "included admitting corruption involving known cases". In a statement, the public prosecutor said a total of 320 people had been subpoenaed to provide information about alleged graft while 159 remain in detention and "a number" of them have been referred for judicial action.

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Some analysts saw Prince Miteb's removal as an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defense minister, to consolidate his control over the security services.

Dozens of high-profile figures including princes, ministers and tycoons are being held in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel, now a makeshift luxury prison, in the biggest sweep of the kingdom's elite in its recent history.

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The crown prince has also said claims dubbing the anti-corruption probe a cover for power consolidation are "ludicrous", pointing out that many of those targeted had already pledged their support to him.

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