Cairo: A Kuwaiti criminal court had sentenced a senior official to 10 years in prison on charges of taking a bribe from a private firm in a questionable deal, Kuwaiti media reported Monday, amid an anti-corruption clampdown in the country.
The defendant, who was tried in absentia, is the deputy head of the state-run Central Agency for Public Tenders, according to Al Rai newspaper.
The court also ordered him repay KD290,000 (Dhs 3,497,255) and sacked from his post. He was charged with receiving a bribe of three cars from an auto dealer after he had illegally ordered the company win a tender to supply ambulances to the Health Ministry in violation of relevant procedures.
The court also sentenced the company's manager to four years in prison and ordered him pay a bail of 4,000 KD to stay out of prison pending an appeal against the ruling. A third defendant was acquitted in the same case.
Kuwait has recently stepped up a drive against suspected graft and waste of state funds.
Last month, a special Kuwaiti court, responsible for handling cases against government ministers, sentenced a former health minister to seven years in prison on corruption charges, the first such verdict in the country.
In recent months, there have been accusations of alleged corruption including wasting of public money in Kuwait. Last November, hundreds of Kuwaitis protested outside the parliament against the then government, that resigned later, and purported state corruption.