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Kuwait ruler sacks son and another minister amid embezzlement scandal

World News | Published:

The country’s prime minister has been asked to form a new government but has requested to be relieved of the duty.

Kuwait’s ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah (Fethi Belaid/AP)

Kuwait’s ruler has fired his own son and another cabinet minister after they publicly feuded over accusations of corruption, ordering the prime minister to form a new government.

Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah issued the decree just days after Kuwait’s cabinet resigned amid a separate inquiry.

The country’s prime minister Sheikh Jaber al Mubarak al Sabah, who has held the post since 2011, has asked the emir to relieve him of the task of forming a new government.

The emir fired both defence minister Nasser al Sabah, his son, and interior minister Khaled al Sabah, who had issued statements against each other.

The defence minister said he discovered that 790 million US dollars was embezzled while the interior minister served as his predecessor.

Sheikh Nasser is seeking the prosecution of his predecessor along with five other top defence ministry officials over the alleged embezzlement.

Kuwait
File photo of a general view of Kuwait’s National Assembly (Gustavo Ferreri/AP)

The cabinet resigned last week after a minister stepped down following a grilling by parliament.

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The justice ministry imposed a gag order banning local media from reporting on the embezzlement case.

It said the trial would be closed and that no information related to it should be circulated in social or traditional media.

“As this issue is being deliberated by our independent judiciary, we urge everyone to not discuss it in the media until the law takes its course,” the emir said in a televised address.

“We are committed to protecting public funds.

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“No one convicted of squandering public funds will escape the law.

“No corrupt individuals will be protected, and I will personally follow this issue.”

While Sheikh Nasser is not currently in line for the throne, his appointment as defence minister drew attention as it came after Saudi King Salman similarly appointed his son to defence minister before upending succession and making him the crown prince.

Parliamentary elections are expected in November 2020.

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