The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered late Saturday that Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of National Guard, be sacked of his office, the Saudi News Agency (SPA) reported.
Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf Al Muqren was appointed as Minister of the National Guard.
A further royal decree announced the end of the tenure of Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al Sultan, Commander of the Saudi Naval Forces. He will be replaced by Vice Admiral Fahd bin Abdullah Al Ghifaili.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz has simultaneously ordered the launch of a new anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia as part of an active reform agenda aimed at tackling a persistent problem that has hindered development efforts in the Kingdom in recent decades.
The anti-corruption committee established according to Royal Order will be headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The members include the President of the Control and Investigation Board; the President of the National Anti-Corruption Commission; the President of the General Auditing Bureau; the Attorney General at the Public Prosecutor’s Office; and the head of the Presidency of State Security.
Prince Miteb was once thought to be a leading contender for the throne before the unexpected rise of Prince Mohammed two years ago.
He had inherited control of the National Guard, an elite internal security force built out of traditional tribal units, from his father, who ran it for five decades.
The move consolidates Crown Prince Mohammed’s control of the Kingdom’s security institutions, which had long been headed by separate powerful branches of the ruling family.
Prince Mohammed already serves as Defence Minister and was named Heir to the throne in a June reshuffle that sidelined his older cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef who had also served as Interior Minister.
He has been responsible at the same time for running Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, dictating an energy policy with global implications and behind the plans for the Kingdom to build a future after oil.
Prince Mohammed, who has pledged to go after graft at the highest levels, will now also head up the new anti-corruption body, which was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and freeze assets.
“The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable,” the royal decree said.