Qatar charges ex-finance minister with bribery, embezzlement

Al-Emadi will face a criminal trial following his 2021 arrest over embezzlement allegations.

Qatar’s former finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi will face a criminal trial following his 2021 arrest over embezzlement allegations.

Al-Emadi was arrested in May 2021 but little has been made public about his case. He will face trial, with an unspecified number of others, over the charges, the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) said in a short statement on Sunday.

“Since evidence extracted from the case documents proved that the accused committed the crimes ascribed to them, the Attorney General issued an order to refer the accused to the Criminal Court to punish them for the crimes ascribed to them, which included bribery, appropriation of public money, abuse of office, abuse of power, damage to public money and money laundering,” the QNA report said.

The report did not elaborate on how much money the former minister is accused of stealing.

Al-Emadi rose to prominence in the Gulf Arab emirate as the current emir ascended the throne and after overseeing the transformation of Qatar National Bank into the largest lender in the Middle East.

Once one of Qatar’s most powerful officials, al-Emadi also served as chairman of the bank, on the board of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and as president of the executive board of Qatar Airways.

Al-Emadi has not commented publicly on the case.

Reuters news agency reported that Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said the investigation was related to his capacity as finance minister, and not to his posts at the sovereign fund or the bank.