QNB removes former minister from board after arrest over embezzlement charges

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Qatar National Bank said on Tuesday that former Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi has been removed from the bank’s board of directors after his arrest earlier this month over embezzlement allegations.

“Qatar National Bank announced that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has decided to withdraw the board membership from Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi as a representative of QIA on the Board of Directors of Qatar National Bank,” the lender said in a bourse filing.

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Emadi was arrested earlier this month and questioned over allegations of embezzlement, abuse of power and crimes related to the public sector. He has been stripped of his ministerial duties, now handled by the trade and industry minister, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari.

Emadi has not commented publicly on the probe and has not been charged with an offense. Reuters had been unable to contact him while he is in police custody.

Emadi had been minister of finance in the wealthy Gulf state since 2013 and sat on the board of its powerful $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, which owns 50 percent of Qatar National Bank.

The bank’s deputy chairman, Sheikh Fahad Bin Faisal Bin Thani al-Thani, will perform the duties of the chairman until a new one is elected to the board, QNB -- the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa -- said on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister and QIA chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman aAl-Thani has previously said the investigation of Emadi was related to his capacity as finance minister, and not to his posts at either the sovereign fund or the bank.

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