Abdul Rahman Al-Ali
JEDDAH — A judge at the Administrative Court decided to refer a bribery case involving a senior official of the National Water Company and five others to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.
The reason was that some important names involved in the case were not included in the file.
The judge required some managers of companies and establishments appear in the court. He said those managers should have been undergone investigations and appeared before the court because the bribes were allegedly given after their approval.
The first defendant, who holds a top position in the NWC, was accused of taking bribes and abusing his powers to facilitate the processing of paperwork for certain managers of companies.
He denied the charges and told the court that the amounts of money that were transferred to his personal account from several establishments and companies were used for advertisement and publicity purposes.
He was going to make a film about water rationalization and launch an advertisement campaign in three local newspapers, he said.
The judge asked the senior official about a car worth SR225,000, which was given to him by one of the accused.
The official replied saying he got the car before he became a manager and he paid for the car from his own money.
The judge also asked him about his travel to several European countries and American cities, and the defendant said the journey was for business purposes.
The second defendant denied that he transferred SR200,000 to the official’s bank account. His lawyer requested the prosecutor general to double-check the transfer and track it to find out who really deposited and transferred the amount.
The lawyer questioned why the BIP did not track the transfer before referring his client to the court.
The third defendant denied that he gave the NWC official any computers in bribes while the fourth defendant, who is a manager of a company, denied bribery charges.
He denied that he paid the official SR100,000 in kickbacks, saying that he had nothing to do with the transfer which was made by the company based in Riyadh.
The fifth defendant also denied all charges against him and said the money transferred by his company to the official was for the advertisement campaign and the film about water rationalization. He told the court that he had evidence to support his defense.
The sixth defendant denied giving the official a computer, a camera, an expensive watch and SR6,000 in cash. He said his work had nothing to do with the official.
The judge decided to refer the case back to the BIP. This case was discovered during an investigation into corruption following the devastating floods in Jeddah in 2009 and 2011. It involves officials from the public and private sectors.