The collapsed crane, pictured at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on September 12, 2015. AFP Photo
The collapsed crane, pictured at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on September 12, 2015. AFP Photo

Saudi court orders accused in Mecca crane collapse case to stand trial again



RIYADH // A Saudi appeals court has ordered about a dozen people accused of negligence in a deadly 2015 crane collapse at Islam’s holiest site to stand trial again.

The Mecca criminal court originally ruled that it had no jurisdiction over allegations of "safety breaches", the Okaz and Saudi Gazette newspapers reported. But the appeals court judges overturned that ruling by a vote of five to two.

At least 109 people, including foreign pilgrims, were killed when the crane crashed into a courtyard at the Grand Mosque in Mecca during high winds in September 2015.

The new ruling came after prosecutors appealed.

The accused included at least one Saudi “billionaire” and nationals of Pakistan, the Philippines, Canada and several Arab countries, the newspapers reported. They were charged with “negligence leading to death, damaging public property and ignoring safety guidelines”.

The crane was one of several the Saudi Binladin Group had erected as part of a multi-billion-dollar expansion plan to accommodate increasing numbers of pilgrims.

No details were given of when hearings might resume, and different reports give different figures for the number of accused, which are either 13 or 14.

King Salman suspended the firm from new public contracts for several months after the tragedy.

The Saudi Binladin Group, which developed landmark buildings in the kingdom, was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

* Agence France-Presse

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

DIVINE INTERVENTOIN

Starring: Elia Suleiman, Manal Khader, Amer Daher

Director: Elia Suleiman

Rating: 4.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A

New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

New Zealand 15
Tries: Laumape, J Barrett
Conversions: B Barrett
Penalties: B Barrett

British & Irish Lions 15
Penalties: Farrell (4), Daly

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

ARGYLLE

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, John Cena

Rating: 3/5

The alternatives

• Founded in 2014, Telr is a payment aggregator and gateway with an office in Silicon Oasis. It’s e-commerce entry plan costs Dh349 monthly (plus VAT). QR codes direct customers to an online payment page and merchants can generate payments through messaging apps.

• Business Bay’s Pallapay claims 40,000-plus active merchants who can invoice customers and receive payment by card. Fees range from 1.99 per cent plus Dh1 per transaction depending on payment method and location, such as online or via UAE mobile.

• Tap started in May 2013 in Kuwait, allowing Middle East businesses to bill, accept, receive and make payments online “easier, faster and smoother” via goSell and goCollect. It supports more than 10,000 merchants. Monthly fees range from US$65-100, plus card charges of 2.75-3.75 per cent and Dh1.2 per sale.

2checkout’s “all-in-one payment gateway and merchant account” accepts payments in 200-plus markets for 2.4-3.9 per cent, plus a Dh1.2-Dh1.8 currency conversion charge. The US provider processes online shop and mobile transactions and has 17,000-plus active digital commerce users.

• PayPal is probably the best-known online goods payment method - usually used for eBay purchases -  but can be used to receive funds, providing everyone’s signed up. Costs from 2.9 per cent plus Dh1.2 per transaction.

The 10 Questions
  • Is there a God?
  • How did it all begin?
  • What is inside a black hole?
  • Can we predict the future?
  • Is time travel possible?
  • Will we survive on Earth?
  • Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
  • Should we colonise space?
  • Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
  • How do we shape the future?
The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

 

65

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

THE BIO

Favourite holiday destination: Whenever I have any free time I always go back to see my family in Caltra, Galway, it’s the only place I can properly relax.

Favourite film: The Way, starring Martin Sheen. It’s about the Camino de Santiago walk from France to Spain.

Personal motto: If something’s meant for you it won’t pass you by.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

MATCH INFO

Asian Champions League, last 16, first leg:

Al Jazira 3 Persepolis 2

Second leg:

Monday, Azizi Stadium, Tehran. Kick off 7pm

The biog

Age: 59

From: Giza Governorate, Egypt

Family: A daughter, two sons and wife

Favourite tree: Ghaf

Runner up favourite tree: Frankincense 

Favourite place on Sir Bani Yas Island: “I love all of Sir Bani Yas. Every spot of Sir Bani Yas, I love it.”

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

FIGHT CARD

Sara El Bakkali v Anisha Kadka (Lightweight, female)
Mohammed Adil Al Debi v Moaz Abdelgawad (Bantamweight)
Amir Boureslan v Mahmoud Zanouny (Welterweight)
Abrorbek Madaminbekov v Mohammed Al Katheeri (Featherweight)
Ibrahem Bilal v Emad Arafa (Super featherweight)
Ahmed Abdolaziz v Imad Essassi (Middleweight)
Milena Martinou v Ilham Bourakkadi (Bantamweight, female)
Noureddine El Agouti v Mohamed Mardi (Welterweight)
Nabil Ouach v Ymad Atrous (Middleweight)
Nouredin Samir v Zainalabid Dadachev (Lightweight)
Marlon Ribeiro v Mehdi Oubahammou (Welterweight)
Brad Stanton v Mohamed El Boukhari (Super welterweight

Fight card

Bantamweight

Siyovush Gulmamadov (TJK) v Rey Nacionales (PHI)

Lightweight

Alexandru Chitoran (ROM) v Hussein Fakhir Abed (SYR)

Catch 74kg

Tohir Zhuraev (TJK) v Omar Hussein (JOR)

Strawweight (Female)

Weronika Zygmunt (POL) v Seo Ye-dam (KOR)

Featherweight

Kaan Ofli (TUR) v Walid Laidi (ALG)

Lightweight

Leandro Martins (BRA) v Abdulla Al Bousheiri (KUW)

Welterweight

Ahmad Labban (LEB) v Sofiane Benchohra (ALG)

Bantamweight

Jaures Dea (CAM) v Nawras Abzakh (JOR)

Lightweight

Mohammed Yahya (UAE) v Glen Ranillo (PHI)

Lightweight

Alan Omer (GER) v Aidan Aguilera (AUS)

Welterweight

Mounir Lazzez (TUN) Sasha Palatnikov (HKG)

Featherweight title bout

Romando Dy (PHI) v Lee Do-gyeom (KOR)

Bullet Train

Director: David Leitch
Stars: Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Sandra Bullock
Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)