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11-06-2012 -

Kuwait ex-PM shuns parliament probe again

Kuwait's former prime minister, Shaikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, has refused for the second time to appear before a parliamentary panel probing graft allegations against him, an official said on Sunday.

"The former prime minister's rejection of the summons by the parliamentary probe committee is a disregard for the Kuwaiti people and its constitutional institutions," head of the panel and lawmaker Faisal Al Muslim said on his Twitter account.

The meeting was supposed to have taken place on Saturday night, but Al Sabah sent a letter to the panel, saying he is not legally bound to attend its meetings.

Al Sabah, a senior member of the Al Sabah ruling family, had previously refused to appear before the five-MP committee in mid-May.

The committee is investigating accusations that Shaikh Nasser transferred millions of dollars of public funds into his overseas bank accounts when he was prime minister between February 2006 and November 2011.

He has categorically denied the allegations, saying that "all the transfers were in the service of the interests of Kuwait and contained no personal benefit."

The former premier also reiterated that he was cleared by a special judicial tribunal which last month decided to end its inquiry into the case, citing a lack of evidence.

Al Muslim said that two members of the committee were asked to prepare a legal response to the ex-premier's rejection and to insist on the "panel's right to investigate the case."


Under pressure

Al Sabah resigned on November 28 under pressure from youth-led street protests which intensified after allegations of corruption were made against him in August and September last year.

That was followed by the dissolution of parliament and holding of snap polls in which the opposition scored an impressive victory.

The Kuwaiti parliament is also investigating allegations that an estimated $350 million were deposited into the bank accounts of 13 former MPs which the opposition claims were political bribes implicating the previous government.


Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights