Supreme Court upholds verdict in Haram crane crash case


Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has confirmed the decision of the Makkah Criminal Court of Appeal issued earlier this year, imposing fines totaling SR20 million on the Saudi Binladin Group. The company was found guilty of negligence and breaching safety regulations in relation to the Makkah Grand Mosque crane crash incident.

“Reports from Okaz/Saudi Gazette suggest that the Supreme Court also pronounced eight directors, department heads, executives, and engineers guilty, handing them three-year prison sentences along with fines. Three engineers and supervisors were acquitted of charges, and one defendant’s trial was suspended due to their passing. The court additionally recommended holding certain entities criminally responsible for their negligence”.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling marks the final resolution of the case. It rejects the cassation request and solidifies the verdict’s binding nature with the phrase “this ruling is final and binding.”

“The decision comes nearly eight years after the Haram crane accident occurred on September 11, 2015, claiming 110 lives and injuring 209 individuals. A crane involved in the Haram expansion project collapsed in the Grand Mosque’s eastern courtyard at 6:05 pm. The incident caused significant damage to the mosque’s structure. The initial cause was attributed to strong downward winds with speeds of 80 km per hour”.

“The Public Prosecution had charged the Binladin Group with negligence, failure to fulfill their duty, and neglecting safety protocols during the Grand Mosque Expansion. The group was accused of not adequately responding to weather alerts issued by the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection”

“Furthermore, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the Binladin Group for disregarding safety rules and protective measures on construction sites. This included the failure to adhere to technical safety regulations concerning crane operation”.

This verdict contrasts with a previous decision on October 1, 2017, by the Makkah Criminal Court, which acquitted all 13 defendants of negligence and attributed the disaster to heavy rains and thunderstorms rather than human error.

“The case experienced multiple turns, with the Court of Appeal eventually acquitting all defendants in August 2021. However, the Supreme Court’s First Circuit annulled these verdicts, leading to the February 2023 decision”.

The Makkah Criminal Court of Appeal imposed fines of SR20 million on the Binladin Group and found seven defendants guilty. The penalties ranged from six months’ imprisonment and SR30,000 fines to three months’ jail time and SR15,000 fines.

“In response, the defendants challenged the Appeal Court’s decision by filing a cassation petition with the Supreme Court. They argued that the accident resulted from strong winds and that proper safety measures were implemented. The Supreme Court reviewed numerous technical documents and reports before arriving at its final judgment”.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.