Case against Israel shelved ‘Probing MPs accounts not in Speaker’s power’

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 28: Probing into allegations that millions of dinars have been deposited into the bank accounts of some MPs is not the job of the Parliament Office, says National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi.

Speaking to reporters Sunday, Al-Khorafi admitted, “We have no adequate information on the alleged deposits.  The competent official bodies must follow up the issue, not the Parliament Office.”

Asked if the office has discussed the possibility of referring the case to the Public Prosecution, Al-Khorafi pointed out this is not under the jurisdiction of the office.  He lamented some MPs seem keen on tarnishing the reputation of the legislature as they continue to use harsh words against their colleagues.  “I have repeatedly warned the lawmakers against such acts.  Actually, the lawmakers themselves have been causing problems in the Parliament,” he added.

On the other hand, National Assembly Comptroller MP Ali Al-Omair disclosed the Parliament Office on Sunday discussed the report published by Al-Qabas daily on the KD25 million deposits in the accounts of some lawmakers.  He explained the office has not taken any decision in this regard but it intends to seek advice from the constitutional experts on the steps that must be taken.

Al-Omair said in case the lawmakers submit a request to hold a special legislative session to discuss the issue, the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee in the Parliament will be obliged to finalize the anti-corruption, statement of assets and liabilities, and conflict of interests draft bills.

In another development, MP Musallam Al-Barrak has forwarded several questions to Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah on the transfer of funds to Kuwaiti embassies in various countries as per the request of the Cabinet.

Al-Barrak wants to know if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received letters from the Diwan of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet, requesting the transfer of a certain amount to the Kuwaiti embassies in some European or Arab capitals.  If yes, he needs a detailed report that includes the total number of letters from April 1, 2006 till date; total amount requested; names of those responsible in the departments which sent the letters and those who ordered the implementation of the contents of the letters.  He also demanded for the procedures taken if the minister was notified about the contents of the letters; the Kuwaiti embassies that received the money; copies of the acknowledgement receipts; names of those who received the money at the embassies; mode of transfer, if through local banks, provide the names of these banks; currency transferred; legal framework that gives the ministry right to take such procedures; and copies of related documents.

KUWAIT CITY: The Ministry of Justice intends to shelve the case which has been filed by MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and others against the Israeli government for humiliating and assaulting them while they were aboard the Turkish flotilla which was carrying humanitarian assistance to the people of the Gaza Strip in Palestine, reports Al-Dar daily.
It has been reported the ministry was preparing to file a lawsuit in international courts but was advised by lawyers not to go ahead with the suit because Israel could win the case and Kuwait would end up paying billions of dollars in compensation because the ship had violated the international law by entering the Israeli territorial waters without permission.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim

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