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Minister’s jail sentence suspended in prior case

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 28: The Misdemeanor Court sentenced Minister of Public Works, Electricity and Water Ahmad Al-Jassar to two years in jail, fined him KD 20,000 to suspend implementation of the verdict and ordered his dismissal.

The verdict against the minister and 14 other suspects came after a petition was filed against them by Senior Financial Auditor in the State Audit Bureau Ehsan Abdullah in view of the emergency generators case in 2007.

In a telephone conversation with the daily, Al-Jassar refused to make any comment but he affirmed an official statement regarding the case will be released soon.

Meanwhile, sources said the minister is expected to resign due to the verdict while other sources claimed he has been given reassurance that he will gain political support. Sources disclosed the minister will submit an appeal but it might take several years before a decision is issued in this regard, indicating the minister had disagreements with certain parties over the project and he registered the issue in the official minutes of the concerned committee during his tenure as head engineer in the Ministry of Electricity and Water.

Earlier, the Public Prosecution investigated the emergency generators 2007 case and summoned the committee members but it later released some of the suspects on bail of KD 1,000 each. Commenting on the verdict, MP Faisal Al-Dowaisan urged the minister to resign as he posted on his Twitter account, “Although the verdict is issued by the Court of First Instance, it is politically persuasive. The minister is now a burden for the government which considers itself a pro-reform executive authority.” In another development, the minister confirmed that three out of six units in North Al-Zour Station are now operating as part of the first phase of the project. He made the announcement in a press conference Monday when he received well-wishers on the occasion of Eid Al- Adha. He added the preparations for the summer of 2016 will start soon, asserting the electricity and water services in the country are good due to the cooperation of citizens and expatriates.

By Jaber Al-Hamoud and Mohammed Ghanim Al-Seyassah Staff

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