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7 Kuwaitis, 5 Saudis, 3 Pakistanis, 13 bedoons face trial; 7 women among 29 charged over Shiite mosque bombing

KUWAIT: The Public Prosecution yesterday pressed official charges against 29 people including seven women in connection with the suicide bombing of the Shiite mosque last month that left 26 people killed and 227 others wounded. The attack, carried out by a Saudi, was the worst in Kuwait’s history.

Those charged included seven Kuwaitis, five Saudis, three Pakistanis, 13 stateless people known as Bedoons and another person at large, whose identity is still unknown, a statement by the public prosecution said yesterday. Besides the suspect with unknown identity, four suspects will be tried in absentia including the two Saudi brothers who transported the explosives into Kuwait and handed them to the driver who took the bomber to the mosque. The decision to press charges came after almost 20 days of interrogations and after the security agencies questioned dozens with suspected links to the attack.

The prosecution said two of the suspects have been charged with premeditated murder of the 26 victims and the attempted murder of all the wounded men. Legal action against the bomber was dropped because he was killed in the attack. Two suspects have been charged with training on explosives with the aim to use them to achieve an illegal purpose. Nine suspects are charged with taking part in the attack through instigation, conspiracy and assistance in committing the murders. It charged some of the suspects with undermining national unity and joining a banned group adopting an extremist ideology.

The prosecution charged all other suspects of having prior knowledge of the attack and failing to inform the authorities and assisting some criminals to escape from the authorities and hiding materials used in the crime. The prosecution said the case has been sent to the Criminal Court to set a date for the start of trial. Twenty-four of the suspects remain in custody pending the start of the trial.

In another case, the Public Prosecution was scheduled to have questioned the former state security chief Sheikh Athbi Al-Fahad Al-Sabah in connection with the so-called Fintas Group whose 13 members are accused of spreading false news about Kuwait and insulting the Amir. The prosecution has already questioned six alleged members and freed them on a KD10,000 bail each except one member whose bail was just KD2,000. The alleged members are being questioned on the accusation of establishing a group on What’s App in which they used to spread the false news against Kuwait and insult the Amir.

The Criminal Court meanwhile yesterday released Sheikh Abdullah Salem Abdullah Al-Sabah after six weeks detention for writing comments on Twitter deemed offensive to the Amir. Sheikh Abdullah, a member of the ruling family, was asked to pay KD500 as a bail. The court set July 28 as the date for his trial. Sheikh Abdullah was detained for a few days about two years ago on similar charges. The Cassation Court yesterday overturned a one-year jail term against editor of Al-Seyassah newspaper and acquitted him. Jarallah was handed the sentence for allegedly insulting the prophet (PBUH).

By B Izzak

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This article was published on 14/07/2015