Minister may be quizzed over 'irregularities'
Manama, February 12, 2014
Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa could be quizzed in parliament over violations outlined in the 2012 Financial Audit Bureau report.
It was among a number of urgent recommendations made by parliament's financial and economic affairs committee, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Others include referring violations by ministers to the Public Prosecution and giving MPs the right to directly contact the judiciary and executive bodies about such issues.
National Audit Bureau chief Hassan Al Jalahma said a number of cases needed investigation, but there were no violations that merited prosecution.
The Cabinet last week announced eight government officials had been suspended in connection with 25 corruption cases under investigation.
It originally referred 20 cases to the Interior Ministry's Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security Directorate.
However, another five cases were later added to the probe.
Another 33 "serious" cases are still being reviewed by Cabinet's executive committee, which is due to issue a decision on March 31.
The Finance Minister said the government was keen to prosecute everyone responsible. "The government will have a new separated budget system in future, which sees all finances divided without entanglement and we are currently working on it," he said.
Outspoken MP Ali Shamtoot demanded Shaikh Ahmed be put in jail.
"Millions have been squandered under his 10-year tenure as minister, so he is responsible, put him in jail and the problem ends," he alleged. - TradeArabia News Service