Flood death mayor detained in Saudi graft purge

Published November 9th, 2017

The former mayor of Jeddah – who attracted criticism for his handling of the Saudi city’s deadly 2009 floods – was one of the list of high-profile politicians, royals and businessmen detained in this week’s anti-corruption purge.

Adel Fakieh – who was in charge of the Kingdom’s second city when more than 100 people died after flash flooding overwhelmed drainage infrastructure – was one of the names on the list of those rounded up, alongside the likes of super-investor Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, former National Guard chief Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, and Saudi Binladin Group head Bakr bin Laden.

45 people were jailed on corruption charges in 2014 relating to construction and development activities around the city that were believed to have made it more vulnerable to flooding. At the time, Saudi officials confirmed that “a former mayor of Jeddah” had faced charges over an alleged payment to bypass drainage regulations for new buildings.