Kuwait to probe more MPs in alleged graft case

September 29, 2011

The number of Kuwaiti lawmakers expected to be included in an investigation for allegedly receiving illegal deposits in their bank accounts has risen to 15, a local daily has reported.

Al Rai said on Thursday that six more bank accounts are being added to the inexorably expanding investigation amid increasing pressure from lawmakers and activists to hear satisfactory explanations how the lawmakers received the huge amounts.

The investigation was launched after Al Qabas daily published on August 20 a report claiming that large amounts of money were injected in the bank accounts of two MPs.

In the report, Al Qabas said that one MP received KD 17 million ($61,347,500) and the second KD 8 million ($28,869,400) over a period of few days, causing concerns within the bank. Under Kuwait laws, banks must check the origin of any deposit exceeding KD 3,000 ($10,826).

The paper did not name either of the lawmakers, prompting several MPs to demand publicly a full investigation in a bid to distance themselves from any suspicions.

Al Qabas said that it would not divulge the names unless the legal authorities cleared the way, even though several social networks named two MPs, claiming their accounts had been suddenly swollen.

Banks opted not to reveal information about lawmakers’ accounts despite strong social pressure.

MP Ahmad Al Saadoon asked the finance minister to provide answers for the KD 25 million ($90,216,900) deposits.

On Thursday, banking sources told Al Rai daily that the investigation was “still going on: and that the public prosecution would examine all suspicious files and accounts, “regardless of the political or social status” of the suspects.”

Under the Kuwaiti law, banks are required to refer suspicions in transactions or deposits to the public prosecution.

Several lawmakers called for endorsing a petition that would make all lawmakers reveal their bank accounts and those of their wives and children.
The move has however been stall amid privacy concerns expressed by some MPs.
Some lawmakers have nevertheless held press conferences and revealed their accounts in a move to stay out of the unprecedented controversy that has shrouded the nation.

MP Faisal Al Mislim said that the Development and Reform Bloc and the Popular Action, two opposition groups, would file “within days” a motion to grill the prime minister on the “deposits of millions,” in reference to the alleged political money given to lawmakers.

“We are discussing the grilling with the National Action Bloc and we hope that they will join us,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Ennahar. “The contaminated deposits are badly damaging the reputation of Kuwait and its people and we hope there is an end to the hemorrhage,” he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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