Qatar’s bad-boy Sheikh told to maintain low profile because of lawsuits

Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani - accused of murder - has been told to keep a low profile and is restricted to the royal family’s beach house in Qatar. (Supplied/File Photo)
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Updated 13 June 2020

Qatar’s bad-boy Sheikh told to maintain low profile because of lawsuits

  • Sheikh Khalid, brother of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, is accused of killing an Indian employee
  • Charities controlled by the Qatari royal family are named in a separate lawsuit filed on behalf of US victims of terrorism

CHICAGO: Playboy race-car driver — and accused killer and bully — Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani has been told to keep a low profile and is restricted to the royal family’s beach house in Qatar, sources say.

Several witnesses in a lawsuit filed last year accuse Sheikh Khaled, the brother of Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, of personally killing an Indian employee assigned to help his wife, and ordering the killing of other individuals, including motor-racing industry rivals and employees the Sheikh believes betrayed his trust. That lawsuit is being expanded to include five witnesses who will testify to the Sheikh’s violent and abusive behavior.

The order for Sheikh Khaled to maintain a low profile follows another major lawsuit filed in New York June 10 on behalf of 10 American victims of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorism. This lawsuit names the Al-Thani royal family’s Qatar Charity, which is funded by the Qatar Foundation and gave more than $1.5 billion in grants to US journalism schools and think tanks.

Also named are two banks controlled by the Al-Thani family, Masraf Al-Rayan and Qatar National Bank, which are accused of funding terrorism. Sheikh Khaled is a board member of Qatar National Bank but sources say he was recently removed.

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READ MORE: Lawsuit names Qatar’s royal family in killings of 10 Americans in Israel

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Although the two lawsuits involve allegations of unrelated acts of violence, they are linked by the alleged involvement of the Al-Thani family. Sources associated with the first lawsuit said the publicity over the past year has fueled a dispute between the emir and his unruly, violent brother.

“Sheikh Khaled has been kept out of sight at the royal family beach house due to the new news. They want him away from Doha and out of sight,” said a source familiar with the royal family.

“I have been told that Sheikh Khaled has told his family, ‘If you turn on me I will rat you all out.’ This, I believe, has to do with the family’s other activities.”

The lawsuit alleging Qatar’s royal family was the source of funding for much of the violence perpetrated by Hamas and PIJ, which has resulted in the deaths or maiming of at least 10 American citizens, raises questions about Qatar’s investment activities in US journalism schools, universities and think tanks through the Qatar Foundation, while also allegedly funding terrorism through Qatar Charity. Both the Qatar Foundation and Qatar Charity are owned by the Al-Thani family.

The royal family has fought to prevent disclosures about its funding; for example, it has given more than $225 million to Texas A&M University since 2011. Critics have also raised concerns about Georgetown University’s Qatar campus and its head, Ahmad Dallal, who US think tank the Middle East Forum describes as a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of “US State Department-designated terrorist group, Hezbollah.”

The Qatar Foundation also funded the creation in 1997 of “Education City” in Al-Rayyan, Qatar. Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to a number of international universities with campuses there, including Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medicine, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, HEC Paris and Hamid Bin Khalifa University.


New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

Updated 08 July 2020

New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

  • Regulation of electricity sector a key condition of international bailout for collapsing economy

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s government finally appointed a new board of directors on Tuesday to control the state-owned electricity company.
Electricite du Liban (EDL) has long been mired in allegations of corruption and fraud. Its annual losses of up to $2 billion a year are the biggest single drain on state finances as Lebanon faces economic collapse and the plunging value of its currency.
Reform of the electricity sector has been a key demand of the International Monetary Fund and potential donor states before they will consider a financial bailout.
“Lebanon’s electricity policy has been inefficient and ineffective for decades — always on the brink of collapse, but staying afloat with last minute patchwork solutions,” said Kareem Chehayeb of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC.
“The economic crisis has made fuel imports more expensive, causing a shortage, with external generator providers hiking their prices or seeking business in Syria. It is a wake-up call to decades of overspending and poor planning of a basic public service.”
The World Bank has described the electricity sector in Lebanon as “tainted with corruption and waste,” and the IMF said “canceling the subsidy to electricity is the most important potential saving in spending.”
Electricity rationing was applied for the first time to hospitals and the law courts, but Minister of Energy Raymond Ghajar said: “The first vessel loaded with diesel for power plants has arrived, and as of Wednesday the power supply will improve.”
Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised the Lebanese people on Tuesday that they would see the results of government efforts to resolve the country’s financial chaos “in the coming weeks.”
Addressing a Cabinet meeting, Diab said: “The glimmer of hope is growing.” However, the appointment of an  EDF board of directors was criticized by opposition politicians. Former prime minister Najib Mikati said the appointments meant “the crime of wrong prevailing over right … is being repeated.”