Saudi prosecutors bring charges over Grand Mosque crane disaster

T-Mag Tuesday 12/July/2016 17:19 PM
By: Times News Service
Saudi prosecutors bring charges over Grand Mosque crane disaster

Riyadh: Suspects including engineers and two government employees will face trial in Saudi Arabia over the deaths of 107 people when a crane toppled over at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in 2015, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The Arabic-language Al Riyadh newspaper quoted a source as saying that investigators and the prosecution had completed an eight-month investigation into the case that was conducted in secrecy and which involved questioning a number of suspects.
"The court is in the process of deciding the (date of the) first hearing in coming days after the judge studies the case," Al Riyadh said.
It said those charged included engineers and two officials working for two government bodies in Mecca, but did not specify what the charges were or how many people would face trial.
The Saudi Arabia has embarked on a series of expansion projects at pilgrimage sites in Mecca.
It quickly suspended construction giant Saudi Binladin Group, the main contractor on the mosque expansion, from seeking new contracts and placed travel bans on its senior executives, penalties that were later lifted.
The crane fell over at Mecca's Grand Mosque in September 2015, less than two weeks before annual Haj pilgrimage.
Saudi Binladin Group, one of the largest contracting companies in the kingdom, which was founded more than 80 years ago, had been carrying out expansion work at the mosque.