Kuwait MPs increase pressure on oil minister despite apology



Opposition MP Mussallam al-Barrak told reporters the opposition groups which said they would ask to grill the minister on June 10 "have not changed their plans after the minister’s apology."



Sheikh Ali has been under fire since telling Al-Qabas newspaper on May 12 that he considered former oil minister Sheikh Ali Khalifa al-Sabah, a defendant in a major graft case, as "my master and that I consult him occasionally on oil issues."



Sheikh Ali, a member of the ruling Al-Sabah family, issued a statement late Tuesday night in which he apologised for what he said and stressed he would pursue people accused of stealing public funds.



Barrak said the minister had apologised only as a way to keep his post.



Sheikh Ali al-Khalifa is one of five former top officials of the state-owned Kuwait Oil Tanker Co (KOTC) accused of stealing more than 100 million dollars. He categorically denies the charges.



He was interrogated by a special judiciary panel for the fourth time on Wednesday over his alleged involvement. The questioning will resume on Saturday.


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