Let the guessing games continue!
Saudi Gazette reports — weakly — that the Administrative Court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a number of officials and businessmen for the role they played in the 2009 flooding of Jeddah which killed over 100 people. As is typical, the newspaper names no names, but provides a certain amount of identifying information to aid the reader in guessing who it is that is going to jail.
The paper refrains from even mentioning the job titles held by the sentenced individuals. This is a great disservice to readers, Saudi and foreign alike. It also flies in the face of pledges of greater transparency in government.
I realize that Saudi Arabia seeks to protect the innocence and names of those only related to the guilty, but they cannot do so while hiding important information. It does matter if the malfeasance and criminal activity is conducted by a janitor or the head of an office. Readers should be able to learn that information as it speaks to the level and extent of corruption, a target for government action.
17 years in jail, SR2m fine for Jeddah Mayoralty official,
Abdulrahman Al-Ali | Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH – The head of the Penal Circuit in the Administrative Court has sentenced a leading official in the Jeddah Mayoralty and several businessmen, one of whom is a former chairman of a sports club, to a collective 17 years imprisonment and total fines of SR2 million.
They were accused of bribery and abuse of power.
The Jeddah Mayoralty official, who was suspended from work facing the accusation of accepting bribery and engaging in trade violating a government contract that bars employees from engaging in trade, was fined SR1 million and imprisoned for seven years to be counted from the day he was taken into custody.
A well-known businessman, who was also a former chairman of a sports club, was accused of several counts of offering bribes. He was fined SR200,000 and sentenced to three years in prison to be counted from the date he was taken into custody.