The princes from the Royal House of Taizz pleaded guilty to the charges in a trial broadcast live on television in this oil-rich desert kingdom.
“It is true. We stole…,” were the last words of one of the royals, Prince Hassan al Taizz, as the sword fell.
The House of Taizz took power in Arabistan after a brief civil war against other tribal warlords in the 1920s, filling a power vacuum by the departing British protectorate forces.King Taizz I, whose clan has expanded to five thousand princes through prolific polygamy, has since been succeeded by six brothers and half-brothers on the throne, all absolute rulers. Living a lavish lifestyle supported by oil income, the kingdom’s natives forswore all work in favour of hiring foreigners to do everything from cleaning the floors to running their oil industry. The ruling class, meanwhile, was spending heavily on palaces, expensive cars, yachts and private jets.
The clean-up comes as a Royal Commission of Inquiry eventually implicated the entire ruling family in theft, gross waste of public funds, money laundry, embezzlement and gross incompetence.
The now leaderless country will hold elections next month, after which the winner is expected to start a new royal dynasty and steal the country again.