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Relieved Saudi minister faces 10 years in jail

Relieved Saudi minister faces 10 years in jail

Khaled Al-Araj was removed from his position as minister of civil affairs on Saturday

Former Saudi minister of civil affairs Khaled Al-Araj could be facing up to 10 years in jail for misusing his power, according to reports.

Saudi Gazette cited lawyers and legal experts as confirming that Araj will be the first minister to be tried under the trial of ministers system issued 58 years ago.

He was relieved from his duties under royal decree on Saturday after being accused of appointing his son to a senior position at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs with a monthly salary of SAR21,600 despite only having a secondary school certificate.

Read: Saudi restores civil service and military allowances, replaces two ministers

The minister’s son was also below the 33 year minimum age to be appointed as an expert of senior consultant and did not face a medical examination, according to the publication.

The kingdom’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) and the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution both wrote to Saudi monarch King Salman to inform him of the violations.

The trial of ministers will be overseen by three ministers and two high court judges, who will investigate the allegations for 30 days before forwarding their findings to the court for the trial.

Lawyer and legal consultant Ibrahim Al-Hussain was quoted as saying that the minister would be banned from taking any public position if convicted and could not become a board member at any companies or establishments.

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