Riyadh (AFP) – A Saudi court on Thursday dismissed charges against 13 accused over a crane collapse that killed dozens at Islam’s holiest site, a newspaper reported on its website.
The prosecution objected to the ruling and asked to appeal, said the Okaz daily, which has closely followed the case.
The accused included at least one Saudi “billionaire” and nationals from Pakistan, the Philippines, Canada, and several Arab countries, Okaz and Saudi Gazette newspapers reported when the trial began in August.
Five months on, the criminal court in Mecca on Thursday said it did not have jurisdiction to hear cases involving “safety breaches”, Okaz reported.
There was no clarification why today’s report referred to 13 accused, while 14 have previously been mentioned.
They were charged with “negligence leading to death, damaging public property and ignoring safety guidelines” at the site of the Grand Mosque crane collapse in September 2015, Okaz and Saudi Gazette said.
During severe winds a construction crane toppled into a courtyard of the mosque.