Doha, 06 May 2021 (AlJazeera News-Reuters)
Qatar’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of Finance Minister Ali Shareef Al Emadi as part of an investigation into alleged misuse of public funds and abuse of power, according to state media.
Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Thursday that the decision had been taken after the review of documents and reports regarding crimes related to the public sector. An “expanded” investigation was under way, it added.
Emadi has been minister of finance in the wealthy Gulf Arab state since 2013 and sits on the board of its powerful $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.
He is also chairman of the board of directors of Qatar National Bank, the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa.
Emadi steered Qatar’s economic policies during the 2014-2015 oil price crash that prompted the tiny nation – as well as other Gulf countries – to accelerate plans to diversify the economy.
Qatar, a leading producer of liquefied natural gas, saw its economy shrink by 3.7% 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.
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.