Makkah court slaps SR20 million fines on Saudi Binladin Group

A court in Saudi Arabia has fined the Saudi Binladin Group 20 million riyals ($5.32 million) after finding it guilty of negligence and safety breaches in the Makkah Grand Mosque crane crash case.

The verdict on Tuesday came more than seven years after at least 109 people, including foreign pilgrims, were killed in September 2015 when a crane crashed into a courtyard of the mosque as a result of high winds.

The crane was one of many the construction company had erected as part of a multibillion-dollar expansion plan to accommodate the growing numbers of pilgrims.

The Criminal Court of Appeal in Makkah ruled that the company was not required to pay blood money to the relatives of those killed in the accident.

Seven people were found guilty, with three sentenced to six months in prison and fined up to 30,000 riyals while four received three-month jail terms and were fined 15,000 riyals.

In 2017, the appeals court ordered a new trial involving about a dozen people accused of negligence, after a Saudi court cleared the Saudi Binladin Group of responsibility.

The company, which has developed famous buildings in the kingdom, was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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