A Kuwaiti colonel on death row for collaborating with Iraq on Tuesday urged the emirate's ruler and international human rights groups to help spare his life.
"I appeal to the emir, world public opinion and all international humanitarian organizations to intervene and save my life," Alaa Hussein Ali told AFP in a telephone call from his jail.
"I feel I have been treated unfairly. The local press has launched a systematic attack on me and my witnesses turned against me," said Ali, who headed a weeklong puppet government set up by Iraq at the start of its 1990-1991 occupation.
Ali was sentenced to death in absentia in 1993. The sentence was upheld by the criminal court on May 3rd following his voluntary return to Kuwait, and the emirate's appeals court is to issue its verdict on July 9.
The 41-year-old Kuwaiti stressed that he returned only after being given assurances that he would be pardoned by the authorities.
Information Minister "Saad bin Teflah al-Ajmi promised that I will be pardoned by the emir. I only need to be treated like the eight other members of the (puppet) government," who were not charged, he said.
Ajmi, who was head of Kuwait's information office in London at the time, met Ali but has denied in court ever having made such a promise.
Defense lawyer Nawaf Sari said his client made a deal with the Kuwaiti government and was supposed to have returned in March. But he did not wait and arrived in January.
Ali returned from Norway, where he had been living after leaving Iraq two years ago, on January 14th along with his four children for the retrial.
The Kuwaiti authorities are now refusing to release the Norwegian passports of his three sons and daughter, who want to join their stepmother in Norway, Ali charged - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)