Kuwaiti Court Postpones Ruling on Activists Accused of Storming Assembly

Published May 7th, 2018 - 09:20 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

The court of cassation yesterday decided to delay until July 8 rulings against around 70 opposition activists and MPs who are accused of storming the National Assembly. The court, whose rulings are final, was scheduled to issue its verdicts in the highly sensitive case yesterday, but the judge decided to delay the proceedings for two more months.

The activists have been charged with storming the Assembly following a demonstration outside the building in Nov 2011. They were also charged with using violence against police. The criminal court in Dec 2013 acquitted all the defendants, saying that they had no criminal intent and that they were expressing their anger over reports of corruption.

But the appeals court in November last year condemned all the defendants – except one who had died – and sentenced them to harsh jail terms of between one and nine years. The terms of two defendants were suspended. The defendants include three current lawmakers – Jamaan Al-Harbash, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Mohammad Al-Mutair – and as many as eight former MPs, including opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak and Faisal Al-Mislem. The rest are opposition activists.

Meanwhile, MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei yesterday warned the prime minister that MPs will take measures against him if he does not take the necessary actions regarding the violations mentioned in the grilling against Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rasheedi. Tabtabaei, who along with MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain grilled the oil minister over alleged violations in the oil sector, warned the prime minister that “you are under the microscope and if you do not take any step, we will take steps against you”. He wondered how “oil executives with all their shortcomings have been given the responsibility of the fate of Kuwait”.

The grilling against the oil minister ended with 10 lawmakers signing a no-confidence motion, and voting on it will take place on Thursday. Tabtabaei said he is waiting to see the outcome of the voting and what action the government takes in connection with the grilling. The lawmaker also criticized a number of MPs, whom he accused of striking deals with the government.

MP Saleh Ashour, who had grilled Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh, said yesterday that he will step down if the minister can prove her allegations in the grilling that the Al-Thaqalain Society – which he heads – had taken a KD 100,000 loan. Ashour distributed a copy of the resignation he said he intends to submit immediately if the minister proves that the loan was taken and that he had benefited from it. The minister had dissolved the society over financial violations that breached the charity law in the country. At the end of Ashour’s grilling, 10 lawmakers filed a no-confidence motion against the minister. Voting on it is also scheduled to take place on Thursday.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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