Oman’s Court of First Instance on Sunday sentenced P. Mohammad Ali, former managing director of Galfar Engineering and Contracting SAOG, to 15 years in jail and slapped a fine of OMR1.7 million (Dh16.9 million) after convicting him in five graft cases.
The court also sentenced the former deputy of the oil sector at Galfar Engineering Company to 15 years in jail and a fine of OMR534,000 in five cases for being a direct accomplice of Mohammad Ali in the bribery case.
Yesterday’s verdicts were part of ongoing cases involving corruption in the oil and gas sector. The court in Muscat delivered its verdicts in the presence of Judge Faisal Al Rashdi and representatives of the Public Prosecution.
Five of the accused are officials from the gas sector of state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) who have been charged with accepting bribes.
The court also ordered deportation of two Galfar officials after completion of their sentence and ordered to pay OMR300,000 in case of appeal.
The former General Manager of Engineering of the gas sector at the oil Petroleum Development Oman Sadiq Suliaman has been given a six-year jail sentence but will have to undergo only four years jail term in two bribery cases. He was also slapped with a fine of OMR200,000 as well as dismissal from the service.
The court also awarded Mohammad Al Maskati, former project manager of Saih Nahidah oilfield of the PDO, a three-year jail term and a fine of OMR150,000 and dismissal from the service; Nasser Al Alawi, former head of the projects at the PDO, to three years in jail and a fine of OMR24,000; Khalid Al Garadi, former head of contracts in the north sector of the PDO, a three-year jail term and a fine of OMR500,000 as well as dismissal from the service.
The court also handed a three-year jail term and a fine of OMR1 million to Saif Al Hanai who was the head of the north sector of the PDO while the chief executive at the Smart Technical Services Company, Basil Maki was awarded a two-year jail term and a fine of OMR150,000.
All the former officials of the PDO have been convicted by the court of accepting bribes, misuse of office, violating the protection of the public money law and the conflict of the interests.
For an appeal, the court ordered the PDO officials and the chief executive at the Smart Technical Services Company to pay OMR100,000.
The court was packed with foreign and local media persons, lawyers, legal advisers and some oil company officials.
Meanwhile, Omanis have expressed their happiness over the verdicts against the corrupt officials. Describing it is a historic moment, they said the verdicts have further reposed their faith in the independence and integrity of the Omani Judiciary.
Observers believe that issuing such verdicts will clean up many irregularities in the oil sector and to be a deterrent for those who plundering the country wealth for their own interests.