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Tue 30 Oct 2018 10:38 AM

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Makkah crane crash retrial to begin on Wednesday

Makkah's Summary Court ruled that none of the victims in the incident that involves construction giant Saudi Binladin Group will receive compensation from the company

Makkah crane crash retrial to begin on Wednesday
A picture taken on September 12, 2015 shows the crane that collapsed the day before at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (AFP/Getty Images)

A retrial for the Makkah crane crash which took the lives of 110 people and injured 209 others in 2015 will reopen on Wednesday at the Second Discretionary Circuit of the Criminal Court, according to Arabic daily Al-Watan.

Last year, the Makkah Summary Court ruled that none of the victims in the incident, which involves construction giant Saudi Binladin Group, would receive compensation from the company since the disaster was caused by heavy rains and thunderstorms, and not human error or fault.

It also cleared the group from paying damages caused to the Grand Mosque during the incident.

The Supreme Court then returned the case to the Criminal Court in Makkah for a retrial, and had approved requests by the company’s lawyers to grant them sufficient time to prepare their defence.

The Criminal Court in Makkah has previously held a session with the Public Prosecutor and all parties involved in the case, though neither the defendant, the President of Saudi Binladin Group, nor his representative were present.

The Public Prosecutor said during the session that the defendants had presented a joint memo, though it did not include defense against the charges.

Employees of the Binladin Group, who had been operating the crane for over two years before the incident, had been acquitted.

“The crane was in an upright, correct and safe position. There was no error committed by the accused who took all the necessary safety precautions,” the court noted at the time.

The Attorney General did not present any solid evidence that the Binladin Group had violated safety rules. The evidence he had presented was not sufficient to incriminate the defendants,” it said.

Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General had objected to the ruling and said he would appeal the verdict.

Following the incident, King Salman of Saudi Arabia granted families of the victims who died $266,000 as compensation, and gave $133,000 to those injured

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