A number of lawyers have said corruption cases involving prominent figures are excluded from the purview all existing rulings and decisions.

The royal order is governed by the formation of a supreme committee headed by the crown prince to investigate offenses and crimes involving official corruption, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported.

The lawyers expect to recover the money lost by the government in the form of fines and in some cases those found guilty to be imprisoned. Omar Al-Khouli, a professor of law at King Abdul Aziz University, told newsmen that the new corruption cases were exempted from the procedures and regulations currently in force and are governed only by the royal order that established the commission.

On freezing of assets abroad, Al-Khouli said it might not possible to freeze or recover funds outside the country, but the owners could be forced to withdraw and repatriate them to the country. 

He explained that each case has a specific penalty, whether bribery or embezzlement and other incidents of corruption.

 He commended the Kingdom›s firm stand against corruption. Bandar Al-Amoud, a member of the Lawyers Committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the ruler has the right to take any action he sees fit in the interest of citizens, especially in monitoring and prosecuting officials and ministers.

Al-Amoud pointed out that if it is proved that the funds were misappropriated or seized through bribery and nepotism, the guardian of the nation has the right to confiscate them and place them in their assigned place.

On the penalty for bribery and money laundering, he said freezing funds was a precaution until the case was investigated. 

When a case of bribery was proved, the amount of the bribe would be recovered with a fine and the guilty would be sentenced to prison terms of between 3 and 15 years.

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