Controversy over Kuwait ‘plot’ tape deepens

Controversy over Kuwait ‘plot’ tape deepens

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“When we seek justice, we head to the right place in order to explain the fabrications, highlight the truth and reveal the facts to the people,” Jassem Al Khorafi, who was Speaker from 1999 to 2009, said.
“I am keen on responding to libels and on getting my rights through the institutions under the umbrella of the Constitution and the law,” he said in a statement.
Al Khorafi is rumoured to have been implicated in the recordings.
He attributed his determination to move ahead with the suit to the “recent developments” that led him to keep his complaint to the end in order to “put an end to toxins and rumours, repel sedition, and end the futility of those who wish to abuse our beloved homeland.”
The highly controversial case that has sent shock waves throughout Kuwait started in December when a Twitter user posted on his account that Shaikh Ahmad Al Fahd Al Sabah, the former deputy premier for economic affairs and energy minister, received an audiotape containing highly sensitive information about Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the former premier, and Al Khorafi.
Shaikh Nasser was a controversial prime minister who was the target of a parliamentary opposition between 2008 and 2011 that wanted him replaced. He finally resigned in November 2011.
When Al Khorafi heard about the claim, he categorically rejected the allegations made against him and the former premier, filed a case with the public prosecutor and pressed for a thorough investigation.
The Twitter user was held for several days before he was released.
The prosecutor this week summoned Shaikh Ahmad as a witness to hear his version about what happened and about the alleged audiotape.
Shaikh Ahmad, a senior member of the ruling family, said he appeared as a witness before the public prosecution investigating the alleged audiotape and denied there was any tape.
However, he added that he did receive scattered recordings on “local, parliamentary, (ruling) family, financial and regional issues” and that he dealt with them “in accordance with my patriotic duties”.
The parliament looked fractured over the issue with several MPs pushing for more details on the tape and the government revealing the content of the alleged conversations. However, other lawmakers have stressed the need to calm down and wait for the public prosecution.
MP Riyadh Al Adasani pledged to grill Prime Minister Shaikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah if he received no answer for his questions about the tape.
“I am going to push for knowing the content of the tape, and if I am told that my question is not constitutional, then I am going to quiz the prime minister,” he said.
However, MP Talal Al Jalal said that the matter was now with the prosecution and people should not interfere.
“Some people are trying to exploit the situation to undermine stability and security in Kuwait,” he said. “We all trust and respect the public prosecution, so let them do their work,” he said.
On Wednesday, as the controversy over the alleged tape deepened, the court stepped in and requested Kuwaitis to avoid debating the issue and to leave it to the public prosecution to take the necessary measures.
Al Khorafi, 74, welcomed the appeal for calm by the court.
“We respect and commend the statement of the Emiri Diwan (Court) to leave the matter for the judiciary,” he said. “The law is our secure refuge and the protector of institutions and individuals in Kuwait. It is the shield for constitutional rights and we hope all concerned parties will cooperate with the Public Prosecutor and help him in his work and provide whatever information they have,” he said.
The former speaker, however, refused to speculate about the reasons Shaikh Nasser did not file a similar lawsuit to clear his name.
“I do respect his views and I believe this is a private matter. He has his own considerations alongside his family for which we have the utmost love and respect,” he said.

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