A Kuwaiti court has sentenced a soldier to death for repeatedly raping and videotaping four minor girls, and his two accomplices to 15 years in prison each, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The men, all members of Kuwait's National Guard, were convicted of torturing, beating and raping the girls, also Kuwaiti and all under 16 years of age, and videotaping the scenes to blackmail them for more sex, the Arab Times said.
The three were identified only as Mikhled A., Thamer A. and Jamaan S.
The court also fined a fourth defendant, a policeman, 1,000 dollars for knowing of the crime and not informing the authorities. A fifth accused, another soldier, was acquitted following contradictory statements from the girls on his involvement.
Violent crime, including murder, assault and robbery, has soared in the oil-rich emirate since the 1991 Gulf War that ended seven months of Iraqi occupation, according to official figures.
Death sentences, normally carried out by hanging in Kuwait, can be appealed twice and must receive the final approval of the emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who has the right to commute them.
Kuwait has executed 17 people since the 1991 Gulf War. Twenty-eight people convicted of serious crimes are on death row in the emirate -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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