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Wide reaction on royal, officer audio clip

Many MPs hail Al-Rashed for following law

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 12: An audio clip circulated on social media recently has drawn wide reaction from the security authorities, lawmakers and citizens, reports Al- Qabas daily.

The audio is about a phone call between a member of the Sabah ruling family (Sheikh) and the deputy head of Vehicle Licensing Sector at the Capital Traffic Department Lieutenant Colonel Saleh Al-Rashed.

Apparently, the sheikh called the officer to inquire about an application submitted for renewal of his vehicle license. The officer explained to the sheikh that documents presented by his mandoub did not meet the legal requirements, so he declined to complete the transaction.

The call included offensive phrases and insults, and the sheikh recorded the phone call without permission from the second party, and then uploaded the conversation on his social media account. It is worth mentioning the sheikh denied any relation to the social media account where the phone call was uploaded.

Sources disclosed that Al- Rashed filed lawsuit with the Public Prosecution, adding the defendant is being summoned. In this context, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lt Gen Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah and Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior Lieutenant General Essam Al-Naham ordered the legal department in the ministry to investigate the issue and file lawsuit against the accused to preserve the rights of the officer and the ministry.

Sources pointed out that Legal Affairs Directorate in the Ministry of Interior is taking relevant steps to file a misdemeanor case on the accusation of insulting and offending an officer in the course of duty, misusing telephone and recording a phone call without the written permission of the other party.

They noted the ministry will followup the legal measures and support Al-Rashed to obtain his legal rights. Meanwhile, Ministry of Interior issued a statement saying the audio clip is being examined, and that it preserves the right to take legal action as per the provisions of law. Sources close to Al-Rashed said he has rejected any attempt to persuade him to abandon the lawsuit and insisted on going forward with the lawsuit to obtain his rights through the court, as he believes in the rule of law.

Meanwhile, several MPs condemned the humiliation Al- Rashed was exposed to by a member of the ruling family. MP Omar Al-Tabtaba’e praised Al-Rashed holding his ground and not completing the transaction without the required documents. Also, MP Abdulwahab Al- Babtain requested the Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah to resign, adding the ministry is not a private property and that Kuwait is a State governed by the rule of law.

For his part, MP Khalid Al- Otaibi said Al-Rashed deserves praise for insisting on enforcing the law. He called on the Ministry of Interior to support and protect its employees from those who “still think they live in the middle ages”. MP Thamer Al-Suwait said the title of sheikh has social status but limited, especially as the title is not recognized in the Constitution of Kuwait.

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