Qatar orders arrest of finance minister on corruption charges
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Qatar orders arrest of finance minister on corruption charges

The state Qatar News Agency announced Thursday that the Qatari attorney general has ordered the arrest of Finance Minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi on charges related to the abuse of his office. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, was announced as al-Emadi’s immediate replacement.

Al-Emadi had served in a variety of roles in the Qatari government and financial sector, including serving as the chairman of the Qatar National Bank and on the board of the powerful Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar’s enormous sovereign wealth fund. Among the charges being brought against Al-Emadi are damage to public funds, exploiting his post, and abuse of power.

Al Emadi made headlines in 2018 when it was reported he attempted to invest QIA funds in the Kushner Company, operated by Charles Kushner, the father of White House senior advisor Jared Kushner. That deal fell through due to Charles’ discomfort with an apparent conflict of interest over receiving investment from a sovereign wealth fund. However, the current charges against al-Emadi are concerned with his role as Finance Minister, rather than in any QIA capacity.

Qatar News Agency has furthermore reported that “extensive” investigations had been opened into al-Emadi’s behavior as Finance Minister following a review of materials obtained by the Qatari attorney general. Those investigations are currently ongoing.