Court hands MP Dashti six more years in jail – More support for petrol price grilling

Abdulhameed Dashti
Abdulhameed Dashti

KUWAIT: The criminal court yesterday sentenced Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti for six more years in jail for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, raising to 31 and a half years the total number of jail terms he has already got. The court tried him on charges of making statements deemed offensive to the two Gulf neighbors. The sentence was issued in absentia since Dashti has been living outside Kuwait since the start of the year.

During the past few months, Dashti was handed jail terms totaling 25 years and six months in several cases for insulting Saudi Arabia, undermining the authority of the Amir and endangering Kuwaiti diplomatic ties with neighboring countries. Dashti said the two new verdicts were null and void as they violated the constitution and Kuwaiti law.

The lawmaker however cannot appeal against the rulings until he returns to the country in accordance with Kuwaiti law. Dashti still faces several other similar cases the verdicts of which are expected in the coming few months which are likely to increase his jail terms. Even while abroad, pro-Iran Dashti has continued his attacks against Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and he has been following on sectarian propaganda.

MP Abdullah Maayouf said yesterday that he fully supports the grillings against Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh over the government decision to hike petrol prices. The lawmaker said that he is totally against the hike in petrol prices and accordingly he will back the grillings against the minister. Four lawmakers have so far said they will file at least two requests to grill the finance minister. There are reports that more requests will be filed before the national assembly opens its term on October 18.

A large number of MPs have rejected a government compromise offer made to the national assembly last week to provide 75 liters of free petrol monthly for each Kuwaiti citizen with a driver’s license. The government measure aims at compensating Kuwaiti citizens for the hike in petrol prices. But many MPs rejected the gesture and demanded that Kuwaitis must be spared from the hike. Observers have said that the political standoff could lead to dissolving the national assembly and calling for early election.

By B Izzak

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