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Bill aims for judicial stability

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 19: MP Dr Adel Al- Damkhi has forwarded a letter to National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim in response to the request of Social Affairs Minister Ghadeer Aseeri to clarify the points in the grilling motion he submitted against her.

This came Monday, one day before the session scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the grilling motion with parliamentary sources hinting that about 18 MPs intend to support the grilling.

In his letter, Al-Damkhi explained the grilling consists of two main points: one is on offending and defaming the MPs while accusing them of spreading rumors and seeking electoral gains – a violation of Article 50 of the Constitution which states: “The system of Government is based on the principle of separation of powers functioning in cooperation with each other in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. None of these powers may relinquish all or part of its competence specified in this Constitution.”

He said the second point of the grilling is Aseeri’s denial of statements attributed to her on numerous occasions, making her lose political credibility and professional honesty which are integral characteristics of a minister who took the oath to be committed to honesty or truthfulness. He affirmed both incidents occurred after Aseeri took the constitutional oath.

In another development, MPs Muhammad Husan Al-Dallal, Osama Al-Shaheen, Saleh Ashour, Riyad Al-Adsani and Safa’a Al-Hashem submitted a draft law on adding articles to the Civil and Commercial Procedures Act issued according to Decree No. 38/1980. The aforementioned law regulates the responsibilities of judges and public prosecutors involved in civil compensation lawsuits.

The draft law is aimed at putting limits to Article 227 of the Civil Act, which obliges anyone who causes harm to others to compensate the harmed party.

The draft law stipulates that in case a judge or public prosecutor commits an error, several lawsuits will be filed against him; so he will not feel independent in issuing the verdict. Thus, the draft law aims to guarantee the independence and stability of judges and public prosecutors to help them do their jobs properly.

Article One of the draft law allows filing a lawsuit against a judge or public prosecutor if he is involved in manipulation or cheating in favor of one party against the other and in case he misused the authority granted to him by the law. The lawsuit against the judge or public prosecutor should be filed within 30 days of discovering his involvement in manipulation, cheating or misusage of authority. The 30-day period starts with the issuance of the verdict in case the mistake is obvious.

If the verdict is issued in absentia, the 30-day period starts only when the subject of the verdict is informed about it through notification sent to his address either in Kuwait or abroad or his workplace. Article Two states that the complaint should be submitted to the relevant department at the Court of Cassation with a report attached to it. The plaintiff pays KD 1,500 as bail. The complaint is reviewed within 10 days and the concerned judge or prosecutor is summoned to hear his side.

In case the complaint is accepted, the two parties are informed about the session date. As soon as the complaint is accepted, the concerned judge or prosecutor is not allowed to conduct hearing on lawsuits assigned to him. If the complaint is dismissed, the plaintiff is obligated to pay fine ranging from KD 1,000 to KD 5,000; in addition to seizing the KD 1,500 bail he paid. The plaintiff will also pay the specified compensation to the judge or public prosecutor. In case the judge or public prosecutor is proven responsible for the mistake, the State pays compensation to the plaintiff.

Meanwhile, MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri issued a press statement regarding the government’s announcement about the budget deficit. He pointed out the government has put citizens in a bad situation through the anticipated implementation of tax and salary deductions. He stressed that there is no deficit in the State budget and that the government aims to draw a dark image in order to obtain loans.

He said the government is using the media, economic figures and politicians to spread this lie and make it appear as the truth to justify obtaining loans from banks. He added that if the government will obtain loans, the State will become a debtor in favor of a number of individuals; and then both the State and the citizens will end up as debtors to the same group of individuals.

He continued saying that the government aims to circulate the illusion of the State’s inability to manage its affairs due to the high cost. He claimed the government is also planning to dispose the assets and fortune of the State through the so-called privatization and partnership projects. He said the privatization will include education, health services, oil tankers, touristic projects, oil exploration companies, Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakeries Company among others. He also warned about the danger of merging economic institutions like Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Ahli United Bank (AUB), disclosing that AUB used to own one third of Future Bank which was dissolved by Bahraini authorities due to accusations of financing terrorism and money laundering.

He added a number of lawsuits were filed against Future Bank, pointing out that court decisions may include fines amounting to hundreds of millions or may be billions of dollars which will be paid by the owners including AUB. He argued the government will eventually bear the cost considering four Kuwaiti public institutions own 48.5 percent of KFH – the Public Authority for Minors Affairs (PAMA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Awqaf Secretariat General and Public Institution for Social Security (PIFFS).

He asked why the government sought the help of consultants including one who worked at KIA as this resulted in losses amounting to 517 million Euros (about 91 percent of the amount of the deal) because of consultation on the Eriva project in France. Another consultant was fined $1.920 billion by the American authorities for involvement in money laundering. He warned that if the acquisition deal is finalized, he will grill HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid because more than three ministers are involved in the issue.

Talking about the fake citizenship file, Al-Muwaizri argued the issuance of more laws is not necessary in addressing the issue which should be referred to the concerned court. He said the same is true for the Bedouns issue. On waiving the loans of citizens, Al- Muwaizri stressed this issue will not be solved unless the concerned citizens address HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah directly through an official letter which will be handed over to him by their representative. The letter should include the list of debtors, their details, reasons and those responsible for the crisis reaching this point.

He believes HH the Amir will take the right decision that one third of Kuwaitis are waiting for.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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