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Makkah crane collapse retrial to begin on Wednesday

Makkah crane collapse retrial to begin on Wednesday

The September 2015 incident resulted in 110 deaths

The Criminal Court in Makkah is set to reopen the Makkah crane collapse case on Wednesday after the Supreme Court asked for a retrial, according to reports.

Read: Saudi court expected to ask for retrial of Makkah crane collapse case

The September 2015 incident at the holy city’s Grand Mosque resulted in the deaths of 110 people and injuries to 209 others.

Arabic publication Al-Watan reported that the retrial would take place this week.

The publication said the Supreme Court approved the requests of the defendants’ lawyers that they be given sufficient time to prepare.

The Criminal Court previously held a session in the presence of the Public Prosecutor and all parties involved, with the exception of the president of Saudi Binladin Group, the developer behind the Grand Mosque expansion project.

A Summary Court ruling issued last October acquitted the group and said they did not owe the victims blood money.

It was determined that the crane was placed in the correct upright position but was affected by rains and heavy winds when the incident took place on an official holiday, meaning there was “no negligence on the part of the accused”.

The Public Prosecution decided to appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing negligence and lack of commitment to safety were behind the collapse.

It also questioned why none of the 3,300 employees working at the site were there at the time of the incident.

Expansion work at Islam’s holiest site has since continued, with troubled developer Saudi Binladin Group receiving government loans of around SAR11bn ($2.9bn) in April to continue the work.

Read: Saudi Binladin receives $3bn loan from government

The wider business is being restructured after the government reportedly took a stake of at least 35 per cent from owners detained during last year’s corruption crackdown.

Read: Saudi Binladin Group to cut staff, be renamed

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