Qatar orders arrest of finance minister in graft probe

Ali Sharif al-Emadi will be questioned over alleged abuse of power, misuse of public funds in Qatar.

DUBAI – Qatar’s public prosecutor has ordered the arrest of the finance minister, state-run media reported Thursday, to question him over alleged abuse of power and misuse of public funds in the energy-rich state.

The Qatar News Agency did not provide other details about the investigation, and the nature of the case against Ali Sharif al-Emadi, who has served finance minister since 2013, was not immediately clear. Al-Emadi rose to prominence in the Gulf Arab emirate of Qatar after overseeing the growth of Qatar National Bank for years.

The statement said authorities were investigating reported crimes related to his public role. Arrests of such a high-ranking officials on suspicion of corruption are rare in Qatar.

In its 2020 corruption perceptions index, which surveys economic experts about the perceived level of public sector corruption, corruption watchdog Transparency International listed Qatar among the least corrupt in the region, with a score of 63 out of 100. The scale ranks countries between zero, which is “highly corrupt,” and 100, for “very clean.”
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