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Thu 4 Jun 2015 11:56 AM

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'We're not above the law', King Salman vows

The Saudi king has said in a speech that the royal family is open to lawsuits & he would not tolerate any corruption in the kingdom

'We're not above the law', King Salman vows
Saudi Arabias King Salman. (Getty Images)

Saudi King Salman has vowed that his government will have no tolerance of corruption and that even the royal family is open to lawsuits.

“In some countries the kings and heads of state have immunity from prosecution. But here any citizen can file lawsuits against the king, crown prince or other members of the royal family,” King Salman said during a speech in front of anti-corruption officials and activists at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Wednesday, according to local media.

He referred to a case brought against his father, King Abdul Aziz, known as the founder of Saudi Arabia, during the first half of the 20 century.

King Abdul Aziz insisted on letting the law take its course and appeared in court with the plaintiff, where they were treated as equals, he said, according to translations of the Arabic speech.

The judge ruled in his favour.

King Salman went so far as to say that Allah (PBUH) would reward citizens who point out mistakes made by him, members of the government, or community.

He considered the rights of citizens “more important” than his own, and that the real defence against corrupt activity was the Koran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).

The Islamic texts had been the foundation of the country for decades and would continue to serve it well.

“Thanks to Allah, our constitution is the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, and the example of the pious Khalifs. Thank God, our country is secure and stable, and any citizen can come address us by our first names, without any honorific title, just as citizens used to address our father,” King Salman said.

“I tell you, I repeat again that the pride, strength and responsibility of this country lie in the fact that it is the direction in which Muslims across the world pray, and the place where revelation was received by Muhammad (PBUH). It came in the Arabic language to an Arab prophet. Therefore we have the greatest responsibility in the entire world.”