Mecca: The First Circuit of the Saudi Supreme Court has overturned all decisions in the 2015 Al-Haram crane incident case, ordering a retrial.
The incident happened before the Hajj season on December 11. A crane involved in the expansion project of the Grand Mosque collapsed, resulting in 110 deaths and 209 injuries, as well as damage to the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
The Supreme Court ordered that a new judicial circuit reconsider the case. The respondent, the Court of Appeal and the competent authorities have been informed of the decision.
The move included reversing a previous acquittal decision issued by the criminal circuit in the Court of Appeals a year earlier. The case will move to a new judicial circuit for review by a new group of judges.
Legal counsel Dr Mohamed bin Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud said the decision “affirms the independence of the judiciary” and “its monitoring by the higher judicial authority represented in the Supreme Court”.
He said that authority “is not a court of adjudication in litigation, but a complaints body against the court that contested the election.”
Al-Mahmoud said: “It considers the ruling in terms of the correct application and interpretation of legal and regulatory rules, as well as the procedures to be followed in the trial.”
He told Arab News that the Supreme Court noted a flaw in the logic of the verdict and a lack of comprehensive reasoning, according to the text of Article 181 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as a lack of investigation into those accused of negligence. ,
“If they are responsible as per Article 19 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, they should be held accountable,” he said.
Following the incident, King Salman ordered the disbursement of SR1 million ($266,666) to each family of the deceased and SR500,000 to those seriously injured.
However, that compensation does not preclude a judicial claim of individual right, as stated in the royal order issued at the time.