Senior Saudi prince Miteb freed from detention: family members

DUBAI (Reuters) - Senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, a former National Guard head once seen as a contender to the throne, has been freed after more than three weeks in detention, according to Twitter messages by royal family members on Tuesday.

Miteb was among dozens of royal family members, ministers and current and former senior officials who were rounded up in a graft inquiry at least partly aimed at strengthening the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It was not immediately possible to confirm the reports of his release and Saudi officials had no immediate comment.

"Almighty, thanks be to you ..." wrote Abeer bint Khaled bin Abdullah, a royal family member, in a posting on her Twitter account. Posting an apparent file photo of Prince Miteb, she added: "May God give you long life, long life full of health, and keep you for us."

13 PHOTOS
Mohammed bin Salman
See Gallery
Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) attends a meeting between Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 6, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman waves as he meets with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 11, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) welcomes Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A picture taken on June 6, 2017 shows a poster of Saudi King Salman (C), Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef (R) and Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman placed on on the offices of the Saudi national airline carrier in Riyadh. Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years. / AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
US Defence Secretary James Mattis meets Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) in Riyadh on April 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN ERNST (Photo credit should read JONATHAN ERNST/AFP/Getty Images)
US Defence Secretary James Mattis bids farewell to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C-R) following their meeting in Riyadh on April 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN ERNST (Photo credit should read JONATHAN ERNST/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 30: Saudi Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Vice Premier of China Zhang Gaoli (not seen) lead 1st China - Saudi Arabia High-Level Cooperation Council meeting in Beijing, China on August 29, 2016. (Photo by Pool / Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - APRIL 5: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) British Prime Minister Theresa May (R) meets with Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud (L) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 5, 2017. (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Pavel Golovkin (Photo credit should read PAVEL GOLOVKIN/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Writing on his Twitter account, Moaid Mahjoob, who identifies himself as director of external relations for Princess Jawahar Al-Saud, another Saudi royal family member, said Prince Miteb "had been released and that he was at his home in Riyadh".

Another royal family member, Princess Nouf bint Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud, also posted a similar message on Twitter, writing over a photo of Prince Miteb: "May you be safe for us, Abu Abdullah."

The posting of a photo and thanksgiving to God indicates the author of the Tweet believes Miteb has been freed.

It was not immediately clear how his release had come about but sources familiar with the matter have said that Saudi authorities were striking agreements with some of those in detention asking them to hand over assets and cash in return for their freedom.

12 PHOTOS
Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where Saudi dignitaries were being detained
See Gallery
Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where Saudi dignitaries were being detained
Saudi men walk out of the entrance to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is staying in Riyadh on March 4, 2013. From Saudi Arabia, Kerry heads into the homestretch of his lengthy first official trip abroad, traveling next to the United Arab Emirates and then Qatar before returning to Washington. AFP PHOTO/JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL (Photo credit should read JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A view shows the Ritz-Carlton hotel's entrance gate in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are projected on the front of the Ritz-Carlton, where Trump is staying in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US and Saudi officials walk in the hallway of the Ritz Carlton hotel in the capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017, during a visit of the US president. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A view shows the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
The motorcade carrying US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel early in the morning in Riyadh on January 23, 2016, after a previous stop in Switzerland. The top US diplomat arrived from Switzerland in Saudi Arabia and next heads to Laos, Cambodia and China. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Jacquelyn Martin / AFP / POOL / JACQUELYN MARTIN (Photo credit should read JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker cleans a fountain at the entrance of the Ritz Carlton hotel as Arab officials attend the 30th Conference of the Arab Interior Minister's Council in Riyadh on March 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors stand next to a Ferrari luxury car displayed during the 2016 World Luxury Expo Riyadh 2016 held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the capital Riyadh, on March 30, 2016. / AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are projected on the front of the Ritz-Carlton, where Trump is staying in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US and Saudi officials walk in the hallway of the Ritz Carlton hotel in the capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017, during a visit of the US president. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secret Service agents monitor the area from the roof of the Ritz Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017, during a visit of the US president. / AFP PHOTO / Fayez Nureldine (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

In an interview with the New York Times published last week, Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted as saying that the vast majority of about 200 businessmen and officials implicated in crackdown are agreeing to settlements under which they hand over assets to the government.

As the Sandhurst-trained preferred son of the late King Abdullah, Miteb was once thought to be a leading contender for the throne.

Before he was sacked by a royal decree on Nov. 4, he headed the Saudi National Guard, an elite internal security force originally based on traditional tribal units that was run by his father for five decades.

He was also the last remaining member of Abdullah's Shammar branch of the family to retain a key position at the top of the Saudi power structure, after brothers Mishaal and Turki were relieved of their posts as governors in 2015.

11 PHOTOS
Senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah
See Gallery
Senior Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah
FILE PHOTO - Saudi Arabian Prince Miteb bin Abdullah at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France June 18, 2014. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
Saudi prince Miteb bin Abdullah is greeted by French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 18, 2014. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)
Saudi prince Miteb bin Abdullah is greeted by French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 18, 2014. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)
Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, gestures as he leaves the equestrian club following a horse racing competition in Janadriyah in the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on February 15, 2008. AFP PHOTO/HASSAN AMMAR (Photo credit should read HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Prince Miteb bin Abdullah whose father, the late king Abdullah, founded the Equestrian Club of Riyadh, sits at the clubhouse during a horse racing event at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in the capital Riyadh on November 11, 2016. The modern facility surrounded by greenery on the edge of Riyadh offers respite from the highways and urban sprawl of a city carved out of the desert. Horse racing is one of the few diversions in Saudi Arabia, where alcohol, public cinemas and theatres are banned. / AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
US Vice President Dick Cheney (L) meets with Prince Miteb bin Abdulla March 21, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Cheney met Saudi King Abdullah on Friday, hoping to win more Arab support for Afghanistan and Iraq and find ways to stabilize global energy markets amid sky-high prices. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
US Vice-President Dick Cheney (C) looks at one of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz's, famous Arabian horses with Prince Miteb bin Abdulla(R), the King's son, on March 21, 2008, as Irish trainer Ryan Jones directs the horse inside the Al-Janadriyah Farm (The King's Horse Farm) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Cheney arrived in Saudi Arabia today, looking to press King Abdullah to do more to help Iraq and Afghanistan and seek ways to stabilize the world energy market, top aides said. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
The son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz (C), holds the trophy with his sons Prince Saed bin Miteb bin Abdul Aziz (R) and Prince Khaled bin Miteb bin Abdul Aziz (L) during the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup at the equestrian club in Janadriyah in the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on February 15, 2008. Kent Desormeaux won the race with his horse Adil. AFP PHOTO/HASSAN AMMAR (Photo credit should read HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA: Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's son, gestures as he leaves the horse racing competition at the equastrian club in Janadriyah on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh. AFP PHOTO/HASSAN AMMAR (Photo credit should read HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA: Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz (C), Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's son, takes part in the traditional Arda dance or War dance during the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh, late 20 February 2007. AFP PHOTO/HASSAN AMMAR (Photo credit should read HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

(Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by William Maclean and Richard Balmforth)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.