Many people were pleased when they heard the news reports that the Public Prosecution had summoned for interrogation a number of suspects who were involved in the so-called ‘hospitality contracts’ of the Ministry of Interior for making deals in their favor.
We mentioned in a tweet which has spread like a wild fire that the issue of the ‘hospitality’ scandal is snowballing at a fast pace. If all those named in the media are convicted after final verdicts are issued against them, this case will be the first of its kind, a promising one since the liberation of Kuwait until date. We are already tired of the accused escaping justice by hook or by crook.
I later regretted my tweet after reading reports of some investigations published by some newspapers, including the Al-Qabas daily, that the proceedings included the full names of some of the defendants, their military titles and referring to the names of other defendants only using their initials.
This is a blatant violation because the names of some are mentioned in full even before the investigations were completed and even before the court had issued a verdict. What will these media do if some of those people whose names are mentioned on the front pages of newspapers are proved innocent and acquitted? Will the apology of the newspaper on front pages be enough for these people?
What about the damage done by these newspapers and articles to the reputation of these ‘accused’ and the effect on their families, their friends and their commercial interests? Who will compensate them for the loss of love and trust of the people?
The issue is extremely sensitive, and no media outlet should have publicly published the name of any accused before their involvement in the crime was confirmed, which cannot be ascertained before the final court verdict. The story of publishing these names and apologizing to them reminded me of an old joke related to the incident of an influential person who was hit in the face by a camel with its tail. He ordered cutting a part or the tail of every camel. As soon as his men began to do so, the camels started to cry out in pain while others fl ed to the desert.
While they were running, they saw a fox running with them, so they stopped running and asked the fox why he was among running side by side with them. The fox said he had heard that orders were given to cut off the tails, so he decided to escape with his long and beautiful tail. The camels laughed at his stupidity and ridiculed his naiveté, and asked him to return to his hole because the order was given to cut the tails of camels only. The fox shook his shoulders with indifference or conviction and continued to say, ‘Until they discovered that I am a fox, not a camel, I would have lost my tail’.
Note: Adel Al-Mutairi told me that he participated in the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Authority Commission during its early stages and that he worked hard and obtained a Master’s degree on ‘The role of administrative transparency in reducing administrative corruption in the Kuwaiti government sectors’, but the Authority refused to employ him, so he worked in the Public Authority for Manpower. We ask: “Where is the principle of the right man in the right place?”
By Ahmad Al Sarraf