Qatar finance minister arrested over alleged embezzlement

ERIN SCOTT / POOL / AFP

Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al-Emadi was arrested for questioning over allegations of embezzlement, abuse of power and crimes related to the public sector, a statement carried by state news agency QNA said on Thursday.

An investigation is underway, the statement added.

Emadi has been minister of finance 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.

Emadi steered Qatar's economic policies during the 2014-2015 oil price crash that prompted the country to accelerate plans to diversify the economy.

He 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.

Qatar, which next year will host the FIFA World Cup, has invested heavily in infrastructure over the past few years ahead of the event, which means spending on major projects is set to decrease this year, the finance ministry has said.

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