Qatar's finance minister arrested on alleged embezzlement

Ali Sherif al Emadi arrested for questioning over allegations of abuse of power and crimes related to public sector


AGENCIES May 06, 2021
Qatar's Minister of Finance Ali Sherif Al Emadi speaks at the Qatar UK Business and Investment Forum in London, Britain March 27, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI:

Qatar's Finance Minister Ali Sherif al Emadi was arrested for questioning over allegations of embezzlement, abuse of power and crimes related to the public sector, a statement carried by state news agency QNA said on Thursday.

“After reviewing documents, and their attached reports, The Attorney General ordered the arrest of the Minister of Finance Ali Sharif Al-Emadi to investigate what was mentioned in the reports of crimes related to practicing public office, which were damage to public funds, abuse of public office, and abusive of power. The Attorney General ordered extensive investigations regarding the crimes raised in the documents,” read the official statement.

An investigation is underway, the statement added.

While there have been previous high-level arrests in corruption cases in Qatar, official sources said Emadi is the highest-profile figure to face such allegations under the current rule of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Al-Emadi has been serving as Qatar’s finance minister since 2013.

He is also the executive chairman of Qatar Airways and chairman of the board of the Qatar Investment Authority.

One Qatar-based diplomat said "the arrest was unexpected".

"It is always good to see governments upholding their laws and cracking down on corruption and abuse of power," the diplomat added.

Another Doha-based diplomat told AFP: "This is actually great, it shows Qatar is taking corruption seriously -- if that is what it is found to be -- and helps build the image of the rule of law being complied with."

Gas-rich Qatar is one of the smallest Arab states with a population of 2.8 million, most of whom are foreigners.

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