Ali Shareef Al Emadi: Qatar’s finance minister arrested over alleged misuse of public funds

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.

“The Attorney General ordered the arrest of the Minister of Finance Ali Sharif Al-Emadi to investigate what was mentioned in the reports of crimes related to practicing public office, which were damage to public funds, abuse of public office, and … of power,” QNA said.

Al Emadi had been a stalwart of the country’s financial system, helping transform Qatar National Bank from a local champion into the region’s biggest lender as its chief executive from 2007 to 2013.

He also serves as chairman of the bank’s board, is president of the executive board of Qatar Airways, and is also on the board of Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

More recently, amid speculation that Al-Emadi had fallen out of favor, he was replaced as chairman of the Qatar Financial Centre, a platform through which most foreign financial firms working in the country are registered and among agencies that encourage foreign investment.