Saudi Supreme Court overturns 2015 Makkah crane incident rulings
The First Circuit of the Saudi Supreme Court has overturned all rulings in the 2015 Al-Haram crane incident case, ordering a retrial.
The incident took place on Dec. 11 before the Hajj season. A crane involved in the Grand Mosque’s expansion project collapsed, resulting in 110 deaths and 209 injuries, with the Grand Mosque in Makkah also suffering damage.
The Supreme Court ordered that a new judicial circuit reconsider the case. The defendants, the Court of Appeal and the competent authorities have been informed of the decision.
The move included the reversal of a previous acquittal ruling issued by the criminal circuit in the Court of Appeal a year ago. The case will move to a new judicial circuit for review by a fresh set of judges.
Legal counsel Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud said that the decision “confirms the independence of the judiciary” and its “oversight by a higher judicial authority represented in the Supreme Court.”
That authority is “not a court of adjudication in litigation but rather a complaint body against the court that issued the contested ruling,” he added.
Al-Mahmoud said: “It considers the ruling in terms of the correct application and interpretation of the legal and regulatory rules, as well as in terms of the procedures that were followed in the trial.”
He told Arab News that the Supreme Court noted a flaw in the reasoning of the judgment and a lack of comprehensive reasoning, pursuant to the text of Article 181 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as a lack of investigation into those accused of negligence.
“They must be held accountable if they are responsible in accordance with Article 19 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” 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 seriously injured people.
However, that compensation does not preclude the judicial claim of the personal right, as stated in the royal order issued at the time.