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Laws on prosecuting ministers rather protect them from accountability, assert legal experts

‘Needs to work on constitutional loopholes’

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 17: Constitutional and legal experts asserted that laws on prosecuting ministers protect the ministers from accountability even after they leave government, demanding amendment by working on the constitutional loopholes to make the laws effective.

In a recent symposium dubbed “Prosecution of Ministers and Combating Corruption” organized by the Faculty of Law at Kuwait University, the experts made it clear that the law since its promulgation has failed in prosecuting any minister, and the commission of inquiry is devoid of any constitutional support.

In a speech, MP Badr Al-Mulla affirmed that the Minister’s Trial Law No. 88 of 1995 needs amendment, as it protects the minister from accountability in case of corruption and violations. He said it is rather extended to protect former ministers and their partners in corruption, wondering the sacredness granted to the minister knowing well the committee included in this law adjourns corruption or violation reports due to lack of seriousness in fact-finding.

In his role, professor of constitutional law at Kuwait University Dr Muhammad Al-Fili, called for amendment to the law on prosecuting ministers and not abolishing it, pointing out that the circumstances of its establishment were the result of developments imposed at a specific period of time and not by principle of legislation “Since after the liberation, there were stories of corruption, and among those who were involved or rather mentioned were ministers”, MP Al-Faili noted.

He pointed out that the proposal to amend the law becomes necessary so that it does not contradict the principle of equality guaranteed by Article 29 of the Constitution, coupled with the fact that the law did not mention the trial of ministers but mentioned procedural rules that are difficult to achieve in practice “thus no minister has been convicted since the issuance of Anti-Ministerial Corruption Law”.

Professor of criminal law at the Faculty of Law, Kuwait University, Dr Hassan Bouaraki, stated the constitutional petition which challenged the Prosecution of Ministers Law was supposed to include the work of the investigation committee to better its status, as this committee is devoid of constitutional support. It is worth mentioning the establishment of the Court of Ministers was based on Article 132 of the Constitution with regard to Ministerial Offenses and indictment, which stipulates that: “A special law defines the offenses, which may be committed by ministers in the performance of their duties, and specifies the procedure for their indictment and trial, and the competent authority for the said trial without it affecting application of other laws to their ordinary acts or offenses.”

By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff

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