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‘Conspiracy’ video sends shockwaves in Kuwait – MPs, opposition demand full truth or PM’s resignation
April 9, 2014, 4:56 am
A highly sensitive videotape in the possession of former energy minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah has sent political shockwaves in the country, especially after more leaks were published about the “conspiracy” tape. The new development came after Sheikh Ahmad was interrogated for five hours by the public prosecutor on Monday as a witness and told reporters later that the tape relates to “local, parliamentary, (ruling) family, financial and regional issues”, and that he dealt with them “in accordance with my national duties”. He provided no further details about the exact content of the recordings.
But some leaks from the public prosecution’s interrogation were published late Monday night. They cited Sheikh Ahmad as telling the prosecutor that former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and former parliament speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi appeared in the videos. They quoted Sheikh Ahmad as also saying that he had submitted the tape to Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, who warned him that his “foes were very powerful”. Sheikh Ahmad did not say on Monday who supplied him the tape.
The issue began several weeks ago when a tweeter wrote on his account that Sheikh Ahmad had received an audiotape containing highly sensitive information about Sheikh Nasser and Khorafi. Khorafi took the case to the public prosecutor and asked him to investigate the issue and categorically denied the allegations made against him and the former premier. The prosecutor then arrested the tweeter, interrogated him and detained him for several days before releasing him on bail. Last week, the prosecutor decided to summon Sheikh Ahmad as a witness to hear his account.
MP Ali Al-Rashed led the reactions to the video, which he described as posing a real danger to the country and its political institutions and urged a transparent response from the prime minister. He said available leaks indicate the video concerns highly suspicious financial transactions and highly dangerous political deals. Rashed later sent a lengthy question to the prime minister, inquiring if the premier has received the said video or audio tape and when. He asked for the legal and administrative measures taken by the premier after receiving the tape.
He inquired about the identity of the so-called “powerful foes” of Sheikh Ahmad and if they had access to the video, and asked if the video had been examined by an international company to establish if it is genuine or fake and when the meeting had taken place. Rashed asked if the video contained any indications of major financial deals that had happened or planned to take place inside or outside Kuwait and whether they were related to public funds.
The lawmaker inquired if the video contained indications of political deals that had taken place or planned to happen between members of the Al-Sabah ruling family or public figures or both. Rashed asked if the video contained indications directly or indirectly on a plot hatched against the regime at present or in the future and if the videos mention names of people working at the Amiri Diwan or names of a former speaker and former premier.
Rashed also asked if the video contains names of public figures, political activists or influential people who have received public or private funds to carry out events mentioned in the video, some of which allegedly relate to overthrowing the regime. Rashed then bluntly asked if the video contained a plot to overthrow the regime in Kuwait and if it contained any events related to the regime including any future arrangements for the future Amir. He also asked if the videos contained a plot to dissolve the National Assembly and if a special committee has been formed within the ruling family to discuss the video and what its recommendations were.
Several other MPs also called for transparency and telling the truth to the people, while others said they were planning to send other questions. And at a public gathering held by the opposition late Monday, several leading opposition figures and former MPs called for an urgent investigation into the video and for the prime minister to frankly inform the Kuwaiti people of its contents.
Former Assembly speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun said the prime minister must come out publicly to say that what he told Sheikh Ahmad about the video was true, and accordingly must resign or deny the report. He said that the issue of the video has been festering for the last five months and it is not the right of Sheikh Ahmad to keep the issue within the ruling family.
Former opposition MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari said that the Kuwaiti people want only to know the truth and that the prime minister is required “politically and morally to tell the truth to the Kuwaiti people”. He said the video contained very dangerous plots between sides whose concern is only to steal the wealth of the country and get involved in the political system. He added that if the leaked information is true, “this could be high treason”.
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