By Geoff Simons
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Additional info for Saudi Arabia: The Shape of a Client Feudalism
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That was Mark's business. '73 In 1984 the Saudi intelligence agency Istakbarat secretly recorded telephone conversations between some of the leading participants in the AI-Yamamah negotiations. Mark Thatcher's possible use to the Saudis was discussed, and his bid set against a cheaper one from a certain 'John'. 74 In the event the Saudis opted for Mark Thatcher as their middleman. 75 The Thatcher issue was never resolved in the way that some politicians and others had demanded. There was evidence in the public domain about the nature of his commercial involvement, but no official enquiry and exposure.
In Mecca, the principal city of Hejaz in the Arabian peninsula, a public assembly evolved to stipulate and enforce the rules of conduct; a system of legal administration was established and the public offices were divided among twelve principal tribes. The office of Hakam governed the city and adjudicated on disputes, often with the assistance of volunteers (Hilf-ulFudul) who helped victims to seek redress. Even before Muhammed there were provisions for the payment of blood-money, cutting off the hands of thieves, and blackening the faces of adulterers.