Qatar’s finance minister Ali Shareef al-Emadi has been arrested on charges of abuse of power and embezzlement of public funds, state media reported on Thursday.
Although there have been high level arrests in corruption cases in Qatar, official sources have said that Emadi is the most prominent person to deal with such allegations under the current Emir regime. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
“The Attorney General ordered the arrest of Minister of Finance Ali Shareef al-Emadi (for) questioning him about what was mentioned in the reports regarding crimes related to the civil service which involved damage to public money, abuse of office and abuse of power, ”state media reported.
Qatar’s state-run news agency said an investigation had been opened, but gave no further details.
Emadi has been Minister of Finance since 2013. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the national airline company Qatar Airways and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qatar National Bank.
A Qatar-based diplomat said the “arrest was unexpected”.
“It is always good to see governments respect their laws and crack down on corruption and abuse of power,” added the diplomat.
Another Doha-based diplomat told AFP: “It’s actually great, it shows that Qatar takes corruption seriously – if that’s what it turns out to be – and is helping to build image of the rule of law respected. “
Qatar, rich in gas, is one of the smallest Arab states with a population of 2.8 million, most of whom are foreigners.
© 2021 AFP