Saudi woman says she received phone call from senior royals

By Karen Remo-Listana, CNN

Maria Ali, the daughter of a former Saudi Interior Ministry official, said Sunday she received information from inside the kingdom that three senior officials in the Royal Court were trying to lure her to the kingdom by offering to help her resolve political and family issues.

In a Facebook post, Ali, 24, said the three officials — Saud bin Mohammed al-Majali, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and Abdulaziz al-Saud — warned her not to let her presence in Turkey create a security threat against the kingdom, and warned her about her mother, Faiz, who was not known to her, as he was her father’s replacement for that role.

Ali said she made plans with her mother to avoid the kingdom.

“It was during these meetings that they knew and announced to me in front of my parents, sisters and my friends that they knew of my presence in Istanbul. They even told me that my mother was not with me in Turkey. I was shocked,” Ali wrote.

Ali said she later learned that the UAE had reached out to her because one of the princes planned to use him to lure her to Saudi Arabia and join a secret group of friends, who were previously detained in a “naked prison.”

“What an incredible motive! I did not know the three senior officials in the Royal Court were trying to set me up as part of the UAE’s scheme,” Ali wrote.

In response to Ali’s allegations, the kingdom’s embassy in the UAE responded via the official Saudi Press Agency.

“The UAE had no role whatsoever in contacting this person and has the worst possible intentions,” the Saudi ambassador to the UAE, Nawaf al-Malki, said in a statement.

The embassy added that “Christine Gracias, who was residing in the UAE, was detained in her home and stripped of all her property and possessions, including mobile phones and her laptop” after she sent messages to Ali about the kingdom’s efforts to help her resolve her “family issues.”

The embassy statement also said Ali’s account of the situation in the kingdom was “extremely dramatic,” a claim Ali refuted.

Ali’s mother was one of at least 11 princes and high-ranking officials detained last month along with former Saudi royal court members Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and Prince Turki bin Saud bin Naif. They were all widely accused of corruption and abuse of power in a crackdown ordered by King Salman. Muqrin was later dropped from the list of detainees, while the other two princes remain detained.

“What happened to my family and me was wrong. They did not deserve this. They didn’t ask for it,” Ali wrote.

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