118 years for accused in Jeddah flood disaster

Updated 01 December 2014
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118 years for accused in Jeddah flood disaster

The long-awaited verdict against people accused of causing the 2009 Jeddah floods has finally been announced. The floods killed more than 120 people and destroyed several homes causing damage to property worth millions of riyals in the sprawling city.
The Court of Grievances issued 39 verdicts that convicted 45 defendants and acquitted 78 others. The convicted defendants will spend a total of 118 years and six months in jail and pay a total of SR14.17 million in fines.
The court dealt with 131 defendants in 32 cases filed on the issue creating a big uproar among Jeddawis as it was unprecedented in the city’s history.
There were 12 decisions urging investigators to complete their probes while five decisions called for adding some cases to others.
The verdicts have been handed over to the Makkah governorate to be pronounced on the defendants including high-ranking officials in service departments, academics, engineers, businessmen and foreign workers.
The charges against the defendants included accepting and payment of bribery, forgery, misuse of official authority, misuse of public money, engaging in illegal business activities and money laundering.
Investigators had probed 300 people and 30 companies. The Jeddah floods resulted in the deaths of more than 120 people and rendered about 10,000 people homeless. It prompted the Makkah governorate to carry out 14 emergency projects to deal with floods in the city.
The projects, which were said to have been completed in record time, included the construction of Um Al-Khair and Samir dams.
In addition, the government implemented a number of other projects including five dams, expansion of the existing canals in the northern, southern and eastern parts of Jeddah and the construction of a new canal along King Abdulaziz International Airport to contain the floods in the city.
Nesma Company won a contract worth SR803 million to build four dams in Wadi Ghaya, Wadi Um Hablain, Wadi Daghbaj, and Wadi Briman and another contract worth SR372 million to build a dam in Wadi Ghalil and renovate the southern floodwater path.


Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

Updated 34 min 15 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

  • The ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage
  • Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year.
Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: https://qh1440.haj.gov.sa

The ministry called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously and “cooperate in order to allow its citizens to perform Hajj easily.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups.

The embargo includes transport restrictions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the Kingdom has taken measures to ensure pilgrims from Qatar can travel freely for Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry said on Saturday it had taken several steps to ensure pilgrims could enter Saudi Arabia for for Hajj, which starts next month. But the ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a recent meeting with a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country arriving in the Kingdom, the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreements to enable access for it citizens, according to the ministry.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said that Qatari pilgrims could complete their applications upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.