KUWAIT CITY, Sept 15: The Court of Appeals has set the session of September 21 to handle one of the biggest cases that occupied public opinion – the “Iranian Fouad Salehi Network” case, as known in the media – filed against 19 people including businessmen. The Court of First Instance had sentenced the defendant Salehi, and another defendant, to four years in prison each on charges of vehicle fraud, and acquitted all the defendants of the rest of the charges, after confirming that there was no crime of squandering public money, based on the Court of Cassation ruling that the funds in question were private money, and not public. In its charge sheet, the Public Prosecution charged the defendants of laundering almost KD 4 million, possessing illegal weapons, and smuggling drugs. It demanded for harsh penalties to be imposed on the defendants.
Lawyer Ali Jawhar, who was representing one of the defendants, affirmed that the defense team’s determination during the next session is to defend at the Court of First Instance, rejecting the prosecution’s appeal and upholding the verdict of acquittal of his client, due to the extent of confl ict between the witness’ statement during the investigations and the evidence in hand. According to the case file, the previous session witnessed the defendants denying all charges leveled against them by the Public Prosecution. The defense team requested the release of their clients on bail of any value that the court deemed proper, but the court rejected the request. The Public Prosecution had charged Salehi with hiding the source of several funds seized by companies from the authority, and using them to purchase real estate, luxury cars and expensive items, with the participation of 17 other defendants including the head of an investment company who is imprisoned for a period of 15 years for seizing the funds of the Kuwait Port Authority. The prosecution also charged a number of defendants with falsifying several car log books, smuggling liquor with the intention of trafficking, possessing psychotropic substances with the intent to use, possessing unlicensed weapons and ammunition, and evading customs. However, the defendants denied all the charges. By Jaber Al-Hamoud Al-Seyassah, Arab Times Staff