Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire investor who was detained at the Ritz-Carlton in Saudi Arabia more than two months ago as part of what officials said was an “anti-corruption” probe, has been released from custody, a relative said on Saturday.
The relative did not provide any details about Alwaleed’s whereabouts. His release was first reported by the Reuters news agency, which quoted a family member saying that Alwaleed had returned home.
He was detained by Saudi authorities in November in a mass arrest that swept up princes, tycoons, and former cabinet members. Saudi officials framed the arrests as part of a determined campaign to root out a deeply-entrenched system of graft.
The detentions, of some of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent figures, was always widely seen as an effort by its young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to consolidate his power before inheriting the throne from his father, King Salman.
A spokesman for the Saudi government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Alwaleed’s release. In an interview with Reuters on Saturday, shortly before his release, Alwaleed said he did not face any formal charges. “There are just some discussions between me and the government,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
And he denied reports that he had been mistreated by the Saudi authorities during his stay at the Ritz-Carlton.
“I exercise, I stretch, I swim, I walk. I have my diet food,” he said. “Everything’s fine; it’s like home.”