Oman court jails businessman to 15 years over bribes

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A court in Oman on Sunday sentenced a former executive of an engineering firm to a total of 15 years in jail for five counts of bribery in exchange for contracts from a state-owned oil company.

The trial, part of a crackdown by the government on corruption in the Western-allied country, was the second against former managing director of Galfar Engineering and Contracting, Mohammed Ali, who was sentenced to three years in jail in January over bribes made to Petroleum Development Oman(PDO).

Ali and two other men convicted earlier this year on bribery charges -- a former executive of Galfar and aFinance Ministry official who had served as head of the tenders committee at PDO -- have appealed against the January sentence.

In the latest case, the prosecutor accused Ali of giving bribes to PDO employees to facilitate the awarding of contracts to his firm.

The judge sentenced Ali to three years in jail for each of the five counts of bribery and ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 15 years.

The court also ordered Ali to pay OR1.774 million ($4.61 million) in fines for the convictions.

Ali was not in court for the ruling, but his spokesperson said he planned to appeal against the verdict.

The businessman, an Indian national, resigned his post of managing director of Galfar Engineeringand Contracting after his January conviction and sentence. He was one of six people jailed and fined for bribery-related offences.

Oman's Sultan Qaboos has waged an anti-graft campaign to defuse mass protests in several Omani cities in 2011 that were mostly directed against corruption but also held to demand jobs, issues that fuelled uprisings around the Arab world that year.

Last month, the Court of First Instance in Muscat sentenced the CEO of state-owned Oman Oil Company to 23 years in jail for accepting bribes, abuse of office and money laundering, the most severe punishment meted out in a series of corruption trials that began last year.

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Posted by: HDee

That should be a starting point with a warning to other similar offender's ; other Gulf countries should start doing the same as there seem to be in-numerous cases which have not come to light !

Posted by: Zulfiqar Hussain

About time the Arab world got rid of corruption to allow a fairer playing field for all businesses. The culture in Oman and Abu Dhabi is that some companies provide poor service and products that are accepted by operators. More transparency and fairness will make the arab world more competitive ( and honesty is also the islamic way!)

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