Cairo: A Kuwaiti court has sentenced an ex-government minister to seven years in prison on charges of profiteering through a business contract, harming public money and influence peddling, according to Kuwaiti media reports.
The court, hearing cases involving government officials, has handed down similar sentences to a former ministerial undersecretary and an ex-head of the Federation of Cooperative Societies in the same case linked to assigning a tender to a company without following legal procedures to make personal gains.
A Kuwaiti newspaper identified the ex-minister as Mubarak Alarou, who served as minister of social affairs from December 2021 to August 2022.
A fourth defendant, who is a Gulf national, will be deported from Kuwait, according to another Kuwaiti newspaper.
The defendants are expected to appeal against the rulings, the paper said. It is not clear yet if the defendants will be kept in jail pending hearing the appeal.
In recent years, Kuwait has stepped up anti-corruption efforts and uncovered several such cases.
Last month, a Kuwaiti court sentenced an Egyptian expatriate to 15 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of KD1 million after he had been convicted of embezzling money of the Kuwaiti Teachers’ Association where he had worked as a financial manager.
The defendant was accused of having increased his salary several times and included fake employees on the payroll.
Also last month, Kuwait’s top appeals court confirmed jailing terms and dismissal of seven ex-judges on charges of corruption in a high-profile case that erupted around three years ago.
The Court of Cassation upheld imprisoning the judges for terms ranging from seven to 15 years, dismissing them from their jobs and confiscating cars they had received as bribes. The verdicts are final.
The court acquitted another judge in the same case while civil servants and businessmen were handed down varying jail sentences.
In October last year, a Kuwaiti appeals court issued the imprisonment sentences against the seven judges and ordered their dismissal and return of the gifts they had received from an Iranian businessman linked to a money laundering case.