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KUWAIT CITY, July 19: A report published by Bloomberg News revealed that the British government, represented by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, intervened in support of the Kuwait Investment Authority’s position in a lawsuit filed against the Kuwait Investment Office (the investment arm of the authority in London) by one of its former senior employees there, reports Al-Rai daily. The report stated that this intervention by the British Foreign Office came in the form of an official letter addressed to the Labor Court of Appeal in London, weeks after that court issued an order obligating the Kuwait Investment Office to hand over “sensitive” documents and correspondence related to a lawsuit filed against it by a British employee working as a manager of fixed income investments at the office before he was dismissed from service.
The London court had issued its decision on the grounds that it had no evidence that the British government recognized the Kuwait Investment Office as being part of the Kuwaiti diplomatic mission. According to documents Bloomberg reported that it had seen, the British Foreign Office’s letter to the Labor Court of Appeal in London stated that 20 senior officials of the Kuwait Investment Office have diplomatic immunity, and therefore it is not permissible for them to appear before the court or be obligated to hand over documents.
A few weeks ago, the Kuwait Investment Office lost a court battle in which it sought to prove its sovereign immunity in an attempt to drop the lawsuit filed by the employee alleging that he was arbitrarily dismissed from his job. On the other hand, the Kuwait Investment Office filed a counter-suit accusing the employee of squandering the office’s budget by exaggeratedly increasing the salaries and bonuses of some senior employees, while he was performing the duties of the acting CEO.
The report considered that the British Foreign Office book would be in the interest of the Kuwait Investment Office, as it is expected to persuade the court to cancel the decision to oblige the office to hand over sensitive documents, based on the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by its senior officials.