By Adnan Al-Shibrawi
JEDDAH — The Court of Appeals on Monday repealed an earlier Penal Court verdict claiming that that the Grand Mosque crane crash lawsuit does not fall under its jurisdiction.
In January, the Penal Court by a majority (2-1) verdict dismissed the case on grounds of jurisdiction.
However, the general attorney moved the Court of Appeals against the verdict, claiming the Penal Court was competent enough to settle the case as it contained crimes including negligence and recklessness toward human life.
Five of the judges of the Court of Appeals favored repeal of the Penal Court order while two judges rules against it.
The general attorney stated that investigation results indicated that the cause of the collapse of the crane was strong wind and the incorrect position of the crane. The crane’s incorrect position was in violation of operation regulations issued by the manufacturer of the crane.
The instructions clearly state that the crane should be lowered when not in use. The crane was not lowered during the incident which caused it to fall off balance. There were other violations in regards to the safety and security of operating the project. The supervisors of the project did not communicate to the team that the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection has issued a warning of unstable weather.
Moreover, the staff working on the construction project at the Grand Mosque did not check for the speed of the wind when they paused during their work. The crane collapse took place at the Grand Mosque at 5.10 p.m. on September 11, 2015 and resulted in the death of about 108 people.