Dubai: In a ruling seen as a strict deterrent against forgery, the Criminal Court in Kuwait has sentenced an employee of the Ministry of Health to three years in prison with hard labour for forging a sick leave.
The court found that the accused had neither received any treatment nor visited any government or private clinic or hospital on the dates claimed to be ill.
The case highlights the prevalence of forging official documents in Kuwait. Under the Kuwaiti penal code, the penalty for forgery of an official document can lead to up to seven years of imprisonment and/or a financial penalty.
When committed by a government employee, the penalty may increase to up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or a financial penalty.
For non-official documents, the penalty can be up to three years of imprisonment and/or a financial penalty.
The distinction between official and non-official documents lies in their authentication by authorities. If a document is authenticated by officials, it is considered an official document.
In this case, the court had earlier refused to release the suspect on any guarantee, showcasing the seriousness of the offense.
The ruling aimed to send a strong message to those considering forgery in Kuwait, emphasizing the government's commitment to combating such fraudulent practices.