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Awazem swiftly raise KD 10m in ‘blood money’

Hidaya Al-Salem and Khaled Al-Azmi

KUWAIT: After spending 19 years in prison, Khaled Neqa Al-Azmi, a high-ranking police officer who was convicted of killing a prominent Kuwaiti journalist, will be released after the victim’s family agreed to receive ‘blood money’ of KD 10 million. In order to collect this large amount, Azmi’s family decided to seek help from the Azmi tribe. The tribe then applied for permission from the ministry of social affairs and labor to legally hold a fundraiser. The ministry allowed the tribe to collect the compensation amount, with the condition of immediately stopping the proceedings after the amount of KD 10 million was raised.

The tribe’s representative announced the fundraising campaign a few days ago, and on Monday, it succeeded in collecting the amount within a few hours through electronic payments to the Awazem Charity Foundation, supervised by the ministry. Not only the Azmi tribe, but other people and even those from outside the country donated money. But an unidentified source at the ministry of social affairs said that the ministry is currently in conflict with the charity, as it refused to stop the campaign even after it completed its mission by raising the compensation amount.

Azmi (who was 40 at the time) was convicted of killing Hidaya Sultan Al-Salem, 66, a journalist and owner of Al-Majalis magazine, by shooting her with his pistol. According to reports, Azmi, who was a police lieutenant colonel, gave himself up and confessed to committing the murder after Sultan insulted the women of his tribe in articles published in her magazine.

By Nawara Fattahova

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