Manama: Shaikh Ahmad Al Fahad, a Kuwaiti former minister who long claimed he had highly compromising recordings about an alleged conspiracy against the state, has apologized profusely, saying he had been misled.
In a statement he personally read out on Kuwait Television, Shaikh Ahmad said that he profoundly apologized to the Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad, Crown Prince Shaikh Nawaf Al Ahmad, former Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad and former Parliament Speaker Jassem Al Khorafi for his “intentional and non-intentional” actions.
“I offer my deep apologies and express my profound regrets for my recent prejudice, abuse and slander, intentional and unintentional, and which were based on the information and documents concerning the interests of the country that I had received,” Shaikh Ahmad, the former deputy premier for economic affairs and energy minister, said in his statement. “I thought the information was correct and credible. But now that the competent judicial authorities affirmed they were not valid or correct, stressing the truth is a virtue.”
Shaikh Ahmad pleaded with the Emir to forgive him and pledged not to refer to the case at any time in the future.
“As I seek pardon from Your Highness, I stress that what happened will be a lesson from which I will benefit and draw useful conclusions. I am in full compliance with you’re the orders and directives of Your Highness and I to turn the page on this matter and not to raise it again.”
The controversy that shook Kuwait to the core started in December 2013 when a tweeter posted on his account that Shaikh Ahmad had received an audio tape containing highly sensitive information about Shaikh Nasser and Al Khorafi and allegations that they were “conspiring to topple the regime”.
Al Khorafi categorically rejected the allegations made against him and the former premier and filed a case with the public prosecutor, pressing for a thorough investigation.
The tweeter was held for several days before he was released.
The prosecutor summoned Shaikh Ahmad as a witness to hear his version about what happened and about the alleged the audio and video clips to support his complaint.
Shaikh Ahmad, a senior member of the ruling family, said after he appeared in April last year before the public prosecution investigating the alleged audio tape that he showed up as a witness and denied there was any tape.
However, he added that he did receive scattered recording on “local, parliamentary, (ruling) family, financial and regional issues” and that he dealt with them “in accordance with patriotic duties.”
Al Kharafi also appeared several times to present his testimony.
The high profile figures in the case led to a great hype and interest, but it also led the prosecutor to issue a gag order that was widely followed by the media.
Last week, the public prosecution’s decision to close the case over the alleged recording exacerbated an already complex situation.
Investigators said the recordings were not authentic and had been edited, prompting the public prosecution to rule out the suspicion of a criminal act.
Al Kharafi welcomed the prosecutor’s decision, saying that he never doubted the complaint would be doomed.
“I did not have any doubts on any day, not even for a fleeting moment, that the complaint will be shelved because it was built on a void and therefore it cannot stand,” he said through his lawyer.
However, he added that he would be relentless with “those who fabricate sedition recordings and spread rumours as well as with those who helped them in any way.”
“I will pursue them both in Kuwait and abroad until they fully assume the consequences of their acts based on lies and recklessness,” he said.
But while Al Kharafi has pledged not to let the case rest, Shaikh Ahmad said in a statement addressed to the people of Kuwait that he would not give up the fight to “clean Kuwait.”
“Be assured that I will not rest my mind until we clean Kuwait, and this will not happen without cooperation between all those keen on the higher interests of the country,” he said. “This is not a personal issue and it is not a vendetta either. It is a national duty imposed on me by the evidence in my possession,” he said.
After offering a short mea-culpa and admitting that he had made mistakes, Shaikh Ahmad said that he spent more than 100 hours in investigations.
“I guided the prosecution to where evidence existed, but it did nothing to collect it,” he charged.
Several lawmakers on Wednesday expressed their dismay over the case and wanted an end to the public feud and to the string of accusations that targeted the juridical system and judges.
The Emir openly supported judges and said he trusted them.