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Kuwait ex-PM, speaker cleared in ‘coup plot’
March 19, 2015, 12:46 pm

Kuwaiti prosecutors said Wednesday they would not press charges against a former prime minister and an ex-parliament speaker over allegations of coup-plotting and corruption. Public prosecutor Dherar Al Assoussi said in a statement that an investigation had found the accusations against the two former top officials were not supported by evidence.

In April last year, Shaikh Ahmad Fahad Al Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, presented videotapes allegedly showing former premier Shaikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah and ex-parliament speaker Jassem Al Khorafi planning a coup.

The two dignitaries were also accused of establishing contacts with foreign intelligence, money laundering and stealing public funds. Al Assoussi said that examination by Kuwaiti security agencies showed that the videotapes were not authentic and had been tampered with.

Shaikh Ahmad insisted at the time that he had secured a Swiss court ruling that the videotapes were genuine and that the voices were those of the former two officials. Shaikh Nasser, 75, resigned in 2011 after five years in office following massive street protests over allegations that 13 MPs had received millions of dollars in bribes.

Al Khorafi, a wealthy businessman, was parliament speaker between 1999 and 2011. The two former officials, who were questioned by the prosecutor, categorically dismissed the accusations and described them as “fabrications and lies”.

Both are nephews of Amir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. The case shook the Gulf state, prompting the ruler to call for calm and to let the judiciary investigate. Opposition groups had called for an international probe and judicial cooperation with Switzerland.

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