DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar announced Sunday the nation’s former finance minister faces charges including bribery and embezzlement from his time in the post.
Ali Sharif al-Emadi was arrested in May 2021, with little about his case being made public. In a short statement on the state-run Qatar News Agency, prosecutors accused al-Emadi of the crimes and said he would face trial in a criminal court.
It wasn’t immediately clear if al-Emadi had a lawyer. The state news report also 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 long-haul carrier Qatar Airways. According to the Las Vegas-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the Qatar Investment Authority holds assets of $475 billion.
Under Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruling emir, Qatar recently has sought to boost its international reputation through hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup and promoting political reforms. Sheikh Tamim also recently replaced the country’s prime minister without explanation.
The Associated Press