Qatar orders arrest of finance minister over alleged embezzlement

Investigation opened into Ali Sharif Al Emadi, public prosecutor says

Qatar's Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi at the third annual US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue at the State Department in Washington. AFP
Qatar's Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi at the third annual US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue at the State Department in Washington. AFP

Qatar's prosecutor ordered the arrest of Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi on Thursday for crimes related to abusing his public office, state Qatar news agency said.

Mr Al Emadi’s arrest came after an investigation that alleged he committed “crimes related to abusing his public office such as misappropriation of public funds and abuse of power”.

“The Public Prosecutor has ordered an investigation into the crimes raised in the reports," Qatar News Agency said.

Mr Al Emadi has held the finance minister post since 2013, is chairman of the board at Qatar National Bank and president of the executive board of Qatar Airways.

During the region's oil crisis in 2014, Mr Al Emadi headed Qatar's economic policies that pushed Doha and other Gulf nations to diversify their economy.

Qatar, a producer of liquefied natural gas, saw its economy shrink by 3.7 per cent, last year due to the coronavirus crisis and lower global energy demand.

The contraction however was smaller than expected and the smallest in the Gulf region, according to International Monetary Fund data.

Mr Al Emadi was named as 2020’s best minister in the region by The Banker, an international financial magazine that organises an annual celebration of finance ministers.

Updated: May 6, 2021 06:11 PM

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