Skip to content

Former Qatar Airways Chairman Sentenced For Money Laundering


Reuters reports that Former Qatar Airways chairman and Qatari Minister of Finance Ali Sharif Al-Emadi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for money laundering. He was found guilty of laundering more than $5.6 billion, and also of bribery, abuse of position and power, and damage to public funds.

The Qatari courts also issued Emadi with a fine of $16.7 billion. It is not known whether Emadi had entered a plea in relation to the charges, but he will have the right to appeal against his conviction.

When he was arrested in May 2021, Emadi was one of the Middle East’s most prominent business executives. According Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the charges relate to Emadi's work as Finance Minister, rather than to any of his other business roles. 

Meanwhile, Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, a high-ranking member of Qatar's ruling family, was found guilty of misuse of public funds and handed a six-year prison sentence along with a fine of $225 million. Fourteen other individuals also received sentences in a case that has shocked the Qatari financial establishment.

Emadi was appointed Minister of Finance in June 2013. Earlier that year, he had been included in a Top-100 Powerful Arabs list. As well as being Qatar Airways’ chairman, he was on a board director of the Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, and was instrumental in the country’s financial preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Corruption cases being brought against such high-profile individuals had previously been unheard of. But provisions giving ministers immunity from prosecution were abolished in May 2021, the day before Emadi’s arrest.