Qatari’s finance minister questioned over alleged abuse of power and misuse of public funds in an energy-rich country after the state’s attorney ordered his arrest
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Qatar’s finance minister has been questioned over alleged abuse of power and misuse of public funds in an energy-rich country after a state’s attorney ordered his arrest, state media reported on Thursday.
The detention of Ali Sharif al-Emadi is a rare move that analysts say could herald a larger campaign to increase transparency and eradicate the coil in the sheikh.
The Qatari news agency reported that the state attorney had ordered al-Emadi’s detention, but did not provide other details about a corruption case involving a minister who has held the post since 2013.
The statement said authorities had launched an investigation into “crimes related to the public sector”, but it was unclear whether Al-Emadi himself was facing any charges. It was not possible to contact Al-Emadi immediately for comment.
Al-Emadi stood out in the Gulf Arab Emirate as the current emir ascended the throne and after overseeing the transformation of Qatar’s National Bank into the largest lender in the Middle East. One of Qatar’s most powerful officials, he also serves as president of the bank, on the board of the Qatar State Fund and as chairman of the executive board of Qatar Airways in the long run. According to the Las Vegas-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the Qatari Investment Authority owns $ 295 billion in assets.
Without explanation, he was recently replaced as chairman of the Qatar Financial Center, a body that regulates foreign investment companies in the country.
Last year, The Banker, a reputable financial publication based in Britain, named al-Emadi the “best minister” in the Middle East and North Africa, citing his ability to navigate various crises, including the collapse of demand for oil and natural products caused by the pandemic. gas and a long-running boycott of the state by Gulf Arab neighbors.
Corruption continues to reign in the Gulf Arab sheikhs, on a par with petrodollars and in the wider Middle East. In its 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, which surveys economic experts on the perceived level of corruption in the public sector, Transparency International’s corruption supervisor ranked Qatar among the least corrupt in the region, with a score of 63 out of 100. The scale ranks countries between zero, which is “, and 100, for” very clean. “
Those authorities made the unusual decision to issue a signal about al-Emadi’s detention that “the effort was deliberately made to be open and affecting the future behavior of ministers, government officials and members of the private sector,” wrote Eurasia Group analyst Sofia Meranto. political research and consulting. “As far as the Qatari economy is concerned, there will be a shock in the system.”
Under Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruling emir, Qatar recently sought to strengthen its international reputation and promote political reforms. First, the country announced that it would hold elections for its national legislature, known as the Shura Council, in October.