Qatar’s public prosecutor has charged 16 people with corruption, including four from leading Doha company Hamad Medical Corporation. The charges relate to bribery and abuse of office. Qatari attorney general Issa Al Nuaimi confirmed the charges against the HMC employees.
The HMC employees are also accused of laundering money and breaching the freedom and integrity of tenders related to the state, the Qatari Public Prosecution’s office said. Hamad Medical Corp, Qatar’s biggest healthcare provider, with more than 25,000 employees, runs 12 hospitals across the nation and the National Ambulance Service and also offers home and residential care services.
“The investigations resulted in the employees exploiting their position at HMC, favouring certain companies owned by the other defendants and facilitating their obtaining contracts to supply medical materials and supplies to HMC in return for sums of money. After the evidence was sufficient, the attorney general ordered the transfer of the accused to the competent criminal court,” the prosecutors said.
HMC, one of the leading hospitals in the Middle East, is the main provider of emergency and specialised care services in Qatar. It did not provide any more details on the 12 other cases it referred to the criminal court.
Sources contacted the HMC and the Qatari Public Prosecutor’s Office for further comment but were yet to receive a reply. Qatar has increased its efforts to combat corruption since the country’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim, promulgated the Public Prosecution Law in May earlier this year after repealing the previous version of the law passed in 2002.
The Public Prosecutor’s office said in March it would launch a criminal trial against former finance minister Ali Al Emadi, who was arrested in May 2021. Mr Al Emadi and an unidentified number of others are charged with bribery, abuse of position and power, damage to public funds and money laundering.
He served as finance minister since 2013 and was the board chairman of Qatar National Bank before being dismissed following his arrest. “It is a clear message that the law is above all and that anyone who abuses public funds will not escape punishment and will be punished under a fair judiciary,” said Ahmed Albinali, a former consultant at Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.