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Kuwait court postpones Al Barrak’s trial

More time is needed to verify former PM’s speech

Gulf News

Manama: A Kuwaiti court on Monday put off the trial of former MP Musallam Al Barrak to December 31.

The time will be used to complete the transcription of the speech Al Barrak gave at the Irada Square in Kuwait City on October 15, in which he is accused of undermined the status of the country’s Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

The court said that it also wanted to hear the testimony of the officer present at the scene.

Al Barrak faces the charges of inciting against the Emir and interfering in his prerogatives. If found guilty, he could be sentenced up to five years’ imprisonment.

The vocal former lawmaker denied the charges, but admitted he uttered the words attributed to him.

“I am not responsible for how the officer interpreted my words,” he reportedly said.

His speech was part of a drive by former lawmakers who opposed a necessity decree issued by the Emir to amend the controversial electoral law and slash the number of candidates a voter can elect from four to one.

Al Barrak was released on a 10,000 Kuwaiti dinar (Dh130,000) bail amid protests by followers and supporters.

However, the cabinet went ahead with the parliamentary elections on December 1, in which three women won seats.

The opposition, determined to force the cancellation of the elections, has been staging nightly protests.