Court to rule in Kuwait parliament storming case on May 6

Country’s highest court whose rulings are final and cannot be challenged will decide the fate of 67 defendants

Manama: Kuwait’s Cassation Court will issue its much-anticipated ruling in the parliament storming case on May 6.

The country’s highest court whose rulings are final and cannot be challenged will decide the fate of 67 defendants, including 10 former and sitting lawmakers.

The court on Sunday rejected pleas by lawyers to lift a ban on their clients to travel abroad before the final trial session in about two months.

The defendants were charged with storming the parliament in November 2011, demanding the resignation of then Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad.

The incident, unprecedented in Kuwait’s history, was labelled “Black Wednesday” and caused uproar in the country. The suspects insisted they acted “without malicious intention”.

The case remained pending until December 2013 when the Criminal Court acquitted all suspects.

However, the Court of Appeals in November 2017 rejected the ruling, and sentenced 67 defendants to jail terms ranging from one to nine years.

MPs Waleed Al Tabtabai and Jamaan Al Harbash were sentenced to seven years each, while a third sitting lawmaker, Mohammad Al Mutair, was given a one-year jail term.

Former lawmakers Musallam Al Barrak was sentenced to nine years, Mubarak Al Waalan, Salem Al Namlan, Faysal Al Musallam, Khalid Al Tahoos to five years each and Mohammad Al Khalifa to three.

The court ordered the defendants to surrender and serve the jail terms and many of them complied.

Several defendants challenged the verdicts at the Court of Cassation and their lawyers requested that they be released until the trial is resumed.

Under the Cassation Court rules, defendants who do not surrender automatically lose their right to appeal and the verdict by the Court of Appeals is upheld.

On February 18, the Court of Cassation released the defendants ahead of the final session in May.

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