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Sunday, July 25, 1999 Published at 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK

World: Middle East

Qatar coup suspect named

A member of the Qatari ruling family, Hamad bin-Jasim bin-Hamad al-Thani, has been arrested on charges of leading a plot to overthrow the Emir.

Sheikh Hamad bin-Jasim, who is a former finance minister and chief of the Qatari police, has been described by the interior ministry as the prime suspect in the attempt to overthrow Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in February, 1996.

It said the arrest followed a long investigation.

The official statement did not say how or where Sheikh Hamad bin-Jasim was arrested, but reports say he was extradited from an unnamed Arab state.

The alleged coup attempt took place a year after the current Emir of Qatar overthrew his own father in a bloodless coup. More than one-hundred-and-twenty people have been accused of involvement in the failed coup.

Some have already stood trial and others are being tried in their absence.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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