Kuwait: Court Sentences Former Minister to 7 Years in Prison

Wednesday, 29 January, 2020 - 11:00
Kuwait- Merza al-Khuwaldi

Kuwait’s Ministerial Court sentenced former Minister of Health Ali al-Obaidi, the former undersecretary, and a number of assistant undersecretaries to seven years in prison for embezzling public funds.

The court, chaired by Counselor Bader al-Sarawi, allowed them to post bail of KD 10,000 to suspend the implementation of the verdict and ordered them to refund KD 81 million.

In 2018, the Ministerial Prosecution Inquiry Committee referred the former Minister to the Ministerial Court for trial, making him the first minister in the country to be referred to this court in a judicial precedent.

The court also acquitted other defendants in the second case of selling drugs to the Ministry of Health.

The Public Prosecution accused the defendants in the first case of intentionally making a contract that harms the interest of the Ministry of Health to profit a foreign entity, a US company, by adding a 2.5 percentage to the commission agreed upon in the contract concluded on January 4, 2015, without the knowledge of the Kuwaiti supervisory authorities.

The Prosecution indicated that the former officials enabled the company of obtaining an amount over $7 million, which does not meet the amount presented in legal documents before the Legal Advice and Legislation Committee and the Central Agency for Public Tenders.

It added that the defendants caused serious financial damage to the institution they work for, over $81 million, and this was due to their negligence in performing their duties.

Read More ...