Pros­e­cu­tion seeks to probe 2 MPs over cor­rup­tion scan­dal

Kuwait moves into sec­ond phase of eas­ing of virus re­stric­tions

Kuwait Times - - Front Page - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: The pub­lic pros­e­cu­tion yes­ter­day asked the Na­tional As­sem­bly to lift the im­mu­nity of two law­mak­ers sus­pected of links to a ma­jor cor­rup­tion scam led by a Bangladesh­i MP who is un­der in­ter­ro­ga­tion in the coun­try. Both the MPs have de­nied any links to the scan­dal, say­ing their names were dragged into the case for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

The re­quests were sub­mit­ted to the speaker through the min­istry of jus­tice. The As­sem­bly must vote on the re­quest within 30 days of re­ceiv­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion, oth­er­wise the im­mu­nity ceases au­to­mat­i­cally. Un­der Kuwaiti law, MPs en­joy pow­er­ful im­mu­nity un­der which they can­not be ar­rested, de­tained or ques­tioned by the pros­e­cu­tion or courts un­less their im­mu­nity is lifted or they vol­un­tar­ily agree to the in­ter­ro­ga­tion. The im­mu­nity ceases dur­ing par­lia­men­tary re­cess pe­ri­ods.

The Bangladesh­i MP has been un­der de­ten­tion for sev­eral weeks on sus­pi­cion of cor­rup­tion, bribery and traf­fick­ing in per­sons. He has re­port­edly re­vealed a large num­ber of names of his links, who in­clude se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, MPs and busi­ness­men.

MP Riyadh Al-Adasani vowed that he will high­light the case of the Bangladesh­i MP and sus­pected money laun­der­ing and in­flated ac­counts of some MPs in a grilling he in­tends to file against the fi­nance min­is­ter. Adasani al­ready grilled the fi­nance min­is­ter ear­lier this month on charges of fail­ure to per­form his duty, in­ten­tion to raise charges on pub­lic ser­vices and im­pose taxes. The grilling ended with­out fil­ing a no-con­fi­dence mo­tion.

The law­maker said that su­per­vi­sory de­part­ments, es­pe­cially the fi­nance min­istry’s fi­nan­cial in­tel­li­gence unit and the Cen­tral Bank should have car­ried out their duty promptly and re­ported such is­sues with­out de­lay, adding he will prove this in the grilling.

MPs Mo­ham­mad Al-Dal­lal and Osama Al-Sheen yes­ter­day pro­posed that the Cabi­net should ask the Anti-Cor­rup­tion Au­thor­ity to pre­pare a re­port ev­ery four months to high­light the main cor­rup­tion cases raised lo­cally. They also pro­posed that the re­port should in­clude al­leged cor­rup­tion cases re­ceived by the au­thor­ity from the gov­ern­ment or from in­di­vid­u­als, and mea­sures taken to­wards such al­le­ga­tions.

Separately, the pros­e­cu­tion also asked the As­sem­bly to lift the im­mu­nity of MP Ma­jed AlMu­tairi re­gard­ing a prob­lem with a po­lice pa­trol. Mean­while, Kuwait is pre­par­ing to move into the sec­ond phase of eas­ing coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions to­day as malls, restau­rants and cafes, in ad­di­tion to pub­lic parks, are due to re­open fol­low­ing a clo­sure that ex­ceeded three months.

Cur­few hours will be re­laxed to start from 8 pm in­stead of 7 pm and end at 5 am. Malls will be al­lowed to op­er­ate un­til 6 pm. Restau­rants and cafes can op­er­ate but dine-in is not al­lowed. Gov­ern­ment of­fices will re­open par­tially at a ca­pac­ity not ex­ceed­ing 30 per­cent. The sec­ond phase is sched­uled to con­tinue for 30 days. MP Ali Al-De­qbasi protested yes­ter­day at the gov­ern­ment’s con­tin­ued lock­down of Jleeb Al-Shuy­oukh and Mah­boula, claim­ing he did not un­der­stand the logic be­hind the lengthy clo­sure.

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