For­mer MP calls for re­sum­ing probe on Dow Chem­i­cal case

Early re­tire­ment law to be de­bated in next ses­sion

Kuwait Times - - Local - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: For­mer MP Ab­dul­lah AlTu­raiqi yes­ter­day of­fi­cially asked the pub­lic prose­cu­tor to re­sume in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the Dow Chem­i­cal case after it was shelved over a year ago. Tu­raiqi said on Twit­ter that he made the of­fi­cial re­quest be­cause he was the main wit­ness in the case that cost Kuwait to pay a fine ex­ceed­ing $2 bil­lion after uni­lat­er­ally re­vok­ing a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar con­tract with the gi­ant US petro­chem­i­cals man­u­fac­turer.

The Na­tional Assem­bly had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the whole af­fairs and Tu­raiqi was the head of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion com­mit­tee that came up with a re­port on the is­sue. The pub­lic pros­e­cu­tion had shelved in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case and did not press charges in De­cem­ber 2017 for a lack of ev­i­dence. But the crim­i­nal court has re­cently scrapped the de­ci­sion to shelve in­ves­ti­ga­tion and or­dered the case to be sent back to the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tion to re­sume its in­ves­ti­ga­tion. There had been ac­cu­sa­tions by MPs against for­mer gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and top oil ex­ec­u­tives of com­mit­ting vi­o­la­tions that cost the coun­try the mas­sive fine.

Mean­while, head of the Na­tional Assem­bly’s fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic af­fairs com­mit­tee MP Salah Khor­shed said yes­ter­day that the panel will com­plete the con­tro­ver­sial early re­tire­ment law soon and ex­pected the law to be de­bated in the assem­bly’s next ses­sion on Jan­uary 30. The law has un­der­gone sev­eral changes since it was ap­proved over­whelm­ingly by law­mak­ers in the last term but was then re­jected by the gov­ern­ment. When it came back to the assem­bly, it un­der­went some amend­ments that a num­ber of law­mak­ers claim have de­stroyed its orig­i­nal ob­jec­tives.

The law ini­tially aimed at en­cour­ag­ing Kuwaiti civil ser­vants to seek re­tire­ments five years ahead of time when they reach 50 years or com­plete 25 years of ser­vice for men and when fe­male em­ploy­ees reach 45 years or com­plete 20 years of ser­vice. Now, the gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a pre­con­di­tion for that which is a two-per­cent de­duc­tion of pen­sion for life for those who want to avail of the early re­tire­ment. Some MPs said they will op­pose the new form of the law.

Ab­dul­lah Al-Tu­raiqi

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