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Proposal to allow extradition of suspects in GCC
September 24, 2014, 2:59 pm

Kuwait’s Attorney-General Mohammad Al Zobi has called for supporting a potential agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to allow public prosecutions to extradite suspects.

Al Zobi said that under the proposal, each of the six GCC nations could extradite any suspect before he is put on trial to the country that requested his extradition, local news site Al Aan reported on Tuesday.

The attorney who was chairing Kuwait’s delegation to the meeting of public prosecutors in the GCC countries in Kuwait City added that once the proposal is approved in its first stage, it would be referred to a competent committee for further studies.

However, the proposal is likely to wade into controversy in Kuwait where a stiff opposition has stalled the approval by the parliament of the more comprehensive GCC security pact.

Several online comments said that the agreement would be unacceptable and that suspects needed a fair court trial before their fate is decided. They added that the agreement suggested by Al Zobi was similar to some of the GCC security pact provisions.

In Kuwait, several lawmakers have argued that the GCC security pact clashed with articles in the Kuwaiti constitution and pushed for its rejection.

The parliament in fact has been deeply fractured over the merit of the security accord endorsed by the other five GCC members — Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Those who oppose it claim that some, if not most, of its provisions are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Kuwait constitution and undermine the sovereignty of the country. They argue that it affects the rights of Kuwaiti citizens and reduces their freedoms and their practice of democracy.

Supporters of the agreement argue that it reinforces Kuwait’s commitment to fighting all types of crime and to consolidating common Gulf security.

They say that the pact helps Kuwait deal better and more effectively with trans-border crimes and upgrade its preparedness to work with other GCC countries in tackling new forms of international criminal activities.

The government has consistently rejected allegations that the agreement violates the constitution and often stressed its significance for the country and the region.

“Article One of the GCC security agreement does not clash with the Kuwaiti constitution, and there is no way that we endorse any law or decision that is against our constitution,” Shaikh Sabah Al Khalid, the foreign minister, said in March.

Khalid Al Jarallah, the foreign ministry undersecretary, said that the pact was in accordance with the Kuwaiti constitution.

“People should go through the articles of the agreement cautiously in order to appreciate them,” he said.

“It clearly states that the national legislation is always sovereign. In fact, the term of national legislation was mentioned five times, which means that they take precedence and that they cannot be abolished or ignored, particularly the constitution.”

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