Tens of thousands of Kuwaitis flocked to the emirate's courts on Tuesday to file new compensation cases against Iraq for its 1990 invasion and seven-month occupation of Kuwait.
They converged on the Palace of Justice courts complex under scorching heat to file civil compensation cases.
The rush was prompted by warnings from lawyers and some officials that such claims must be filed by a deadline of the 10th anniversary of the invasion on August 2nd.
But a senior justice ministry official appealed for calm on Kuwait Radio, giving an assurance that civil compensation cases could be filed within a 15-year period.
Meanwhile, the assistant undersecretary for judicial affairs, Nasser al-Nasserallah, warned that only those subjected to personal injury, hardships and physical abuse were entitled to compensation through the courts.
The fresh claims are separate from the compensation awarded to hundreds of thousands of Kuwaitis and other nationals by the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC), set up by the Security Council after the 1991 Gulf War.
Investigation into cases involving crimes committed by Iraqi officials and soldiers has already begun, but the courts are not expected to start hearings before September.
Kuwait's prosecutor general Sultan Bujarwah said on Monday that initial estimates indicate that as many as 250,000 criminal cases could be filed.
Through its compensation agency, Kuwait has submitted claims to the UNCC worth more than 150 billion dollars, but so far only payments worth a few billions have been approved.
During the occupation, which was ended by the Gulf War, hundreds of Kuwaitis and foreigners were killed, while many others complained of torture and physical abuse – KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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