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Exclusive - Detained Saudi billionaire Alwaleed says he expects to be released in days

FILE PHOTO - Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal attends a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia August 30, 2009. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed/File Picture


By Katie Paul

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained in the kingdom's sweeping crackdown on corruption, said on Saturday that he expected to be cleared of any wrongdoing and be released from custody within days.

Prince Alwaleed was speaking in an exclusive interview with Reuters at his suite in Riyadh's opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel, where he has been held for over two months along with dozens of other suspects.

The prince, one of the nation's most prominent tycoons, said he was continuing to maintain his innocence of any corruption in talks with authorities. He said he expected to keep full control of his global investment firm Kingdom Holding without being required to give up assets to the government.

He also said he had been well treated in detention, describing rumours of mistreatment as completely false. He gave the interview partly in order to disprove such rumours, Prince Alwaleed said.

(Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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