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Iran Press TV

EU lawmakers concerned bin Salman may kill ex-rival in Saudi jail

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 5:51 AM

The largest bloc at the European Parliament says it has concerns that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may attempt to kill his predecessor and onetime rival, Mohammed bin Nayef, in custody.

In a statement, the European People's Party (EPP) called for the immediate disclosure of the fate of bin Nayef and his protection from murder by the heir to the Saudi throne, the Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

The group said it has obtained evidence suggesting that bin Nayef's health condition has deteriorated in Saudi jail.

The EPP described bin Nayef's continued detention as a source of concern for Europe, urging bin Salman to refrain from eliminating his critics and political rivals.

Bin Salman became Saudi Arabia's crown prince on the back of a 2017 palace coup that ousted bin Nayef.

Since his ouster, bin Nayef has effectively been under house arrest and prevented from leaving the kingdom.

In March, he was arrested as part of a renewed purge of royal family members over an alleged coup attempt to unseat King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son.

The Washington Post revealed earlier this month that bin Salman was preparing a set of corruption and disloyalty charges against bin Nayef to demand a $15-billion settlement from the detained prince.

Meanwhile, just last week a campaign was launched on Twitter, with users posting thousands of tweets all of which blamed bin Nayef and his long-time aide for wide-spread corruption, in an apparent bid to discredit him ahead of a possible indictment.

Some reports predict that bin Salman – the kingdom's de facto leader – will ascend to the throne before the 2020 US presidential election amid uncertainty over the health condition of his hospitalized 84-year-old father.

Nabeel Nowairah, an independent researcher of the Persian Gulf Arab states, told Asia Times newspaper recently that the Saudi crown prince would take control of the kingdom by the end of the year.

"Almost everyone is in detention, the important guys," he said. "Bin Nayef himself is in detention – they're all not allowed to leave. And there are dozens of princes who are not allowed to travel outside the country and whose movement is monitored. I think everything is under control at the moment."

Bin Salman is the architect of Saudi Arabia's bloody war on Yemen and the prime suspect in the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

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