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MP threatens to grill health minister over ‘fake’ stents – Former MPs blast parliamentary delegation to Iran

KUWAIT: MP Faisal Al-Kandari yesterday called on Health Minister Mohammad Al-Haifi to step down or he will file to grill him at the start of the next parliamentary term late October, alleging that the minister has sanctioned defective stents for heart patients which pose a risk to their lives. Speaking at a press conference, Kandari, who has been targeting the health minister for some time, displayed stents manufactured by a US company that are normally used for heart patients to ensure blood flow in the main arteries of the heart.

The lawmaker alleged that the minister has sanctioned a shipments of stents manufactured by a British company which is not specialized in this field, and claimed that these stents could kill heart patients because they are defective. He said that the defective product did not pass through the medical stores of the ministry as required by normal procedures, but were sent directly to the local government hospital of Mubarak Al-Kabeer in Jabriya. Kandari appealed to all heart patients who installed stents at the hospital to see him in the National Assembly. He called on the health minister to resign or he will be grilled at the start of the next term in October. He also called on MPs to form a fact-finding committee to probe the allegations.

Meanwhile, former opposition MPs yesterday strongly criticized the Assembly for sending a parliamentary delegation to Iran despite the state's alleged involvement in backing the Syrian regime and after the conviction of an Iranian spy cell in Kuwait last month. Former MP Abdullatif Al-Ameeri said that if members of the Assembly had any feeling to the massacres being committed against "our Syrian brothers" under Iranian patronage, they would not have formed a delegation to visit Tehran.

"Iran's hands are full with Syrian blood and the Kuwaiti judiciary has proved the Iranian involvement in spying and plotting terrorist attacks in the country and still members of the single-vote Assembly are visiting it," Ameeri said. He however thanked God because "this Assembly represents only a minority of the Kuwaiti people whose majority are convinced that Iran poses a real danger against Kuwait".

The delegation is headed by MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi and includes Shiite MPs Adnan Abdulsamad, Ahmad Lari and Abdulhameed Dashti, in addition to MP Saud Al-Huraiji. The delegation began the visit on Saturday. Former MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said the visit represents a "major insult and humiliation" against the struggle of the Syrian people and it gives a wrong message, especially after the final verdict against the Iranian spying cell.

In another development, the defense team of opposition leader and former MP Musallam Al-Barrak yesterday filed a petition at the cassation court against a ruling issued two weeks ago by the court of appeals. The court of appeals had annulled a five-year jail term against Barrak on charges of insulting HH the Amir at a public rally and decided to conduct the trial itself. The defense team told the cassation court that the appeals court should have sent the case back to the lower court to conduct a new trial. Barrak's defense team also asked the court of appeals to suspend the trial until the cassation court issues its verdict. The appeals court then postponed the case until June 24 to issue its ruling on whether to suspend the trial or not.

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This article was published on 09/06/2013