Former MP Musallam Al Barrak gestures as he leaves the Palace of Justice in Kuwait City
Barrak trial postponed

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: The Criminal Court on Monday postponed the trial of opposition ex-MP Musallam Al-Barrak to March 11. Al-Barrak is charged with making statements deemed to have undermined the status of HH the Amir during an oppositionist public gathering in October.

Al-Barrak denied the state security charges against him and the court will hear the testimony of a concerned investigating security officer on the circumstances of the event during the next hearing.
The court rejected a request by Al-Barrak’s defense team to hear the testimony HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah on alleged “comments he made to oppositionists against the one-vote electoral system”, according to the defense attorneys, as well as oppositionist ex-MPs Khaled Al-Sultan and Jamaan Al-Harbash. The court was also requested to lift the travel ban on Al-Barrak, a request which was also reportedly denied.

The Justice Palace premise on Monday was packed with security officers to prevent any unauthorized demonstrations. During a hearing of Al-Barrak’s case on Jan. 28, the Justice Palace was packed by supporters of the high-profile opposition ex-MP for the hearing, after which he was lifted on their shoulders and they shouted slogans in his praise. The incident was severely condemned by the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals postponed until March 3 the hearing of a state security case against activist Dr. Obaid Al-Wassmi, who was a member of the annulled 2012 Assembly. Al-Wassmi is charged with six counts of abuses against the status of HH the Amir during an infamous seminar at the Diwaniya of Jamaan Al-Harbash in December of 2010.

Opposition protests and sit-ins at the Justice Palace have been occurring on a regular basis since the jail sentencing of around three Twitter activists and the three opposition ex-lawmakers — Falah Al-Sawagh, Khaled Al-Tahous and Bader Al-Dahoum — for allegedly insulting HH the Amir. Many more activists are on trial on similar charges.

The oppositionists demand the scrapping of the one-vote electoral system and the current National Assembly, whose election they’ve boycotted on Dec 1.


By: Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

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