The injured and families of those who died in last week’s crane crash tragedy at the Grand Mosque could be paid huge sums in blood money and other compensation if the contractor is found guilty of negligence, according to legal experts. They also welcomed the decision taken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to have the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) investigate the incident.
Omar Al-Khouli, a professor of law at King Abdulaziz University, said those who were harmed have the right to demand their personal rights depending on whether they have evidence to support their claims. He said the generous amount of SR1 million each for the families of those who died and others permanently disabled, in addition to SR500,000 for each of the injured, does not mean they cannot launch lawsuits through the courts.
Lawyer Majed Moahmmad Qaroub said it was difficult at this stage to determine what the payouts would be because this was dependent on the outcome of the BIPP probe. Saleh Mesfir Al-Ghamdi, a lawyer and BIPP employee, said all parties accused of negligence are innocent until proven guilty. It was up to the BIPP to decide whether there was any culpability from their side.
Amro bin Hamad Al-Aziebi, a lawyer, said expert engineers are likely to be brought in to determine whether the contractors were responsible for the crane crash. If they are found guilty, the victims would be able to apply for huge compensation, he said.
Lawyer Ali Al-Ghamdi said King Salman’s decisions and generous orders show that the country’s government is deeply concerned about the welfare of fellow Muslims.
Sultan Al-Harithi, a lawyer, praised King Salman for taking decisions that would ensure tough action against those failing in their duties. These steps were necessary to ensure public and private firms provide quality services for the country.
Lawyer Ibrahim Zamzami said the king had taken the correct decision to prevent the directors of the Saudi Binladin Group from leaving the country after a team of investigators found the firm partially responsible for the crane falling over. This is to ensure all parties are present for the expected litigation.
Mastour Al-Salami, a lawyer, said the king’s decisions are in line with international law because they protect the rights of all parties. The decisions of the country’s judiciary were likely to be swift because the initial team of investigators had identified what went wrong. The team comprised expert engineers and consultants, with experience in dealing with cranes.
Lawyer Ala Abdulhamid Naji said the country’s courts are independent and would protect the rights of all parties involved in litigation. ARAB NEWS