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Mosque bombing suspects’ prosecution resumes today

local2KUWAIT: The Criminal Court, cross-examining the recent deadly bombing that targeted a mosque packed with fasting and praying worshippers in Kuwait, is scheduled to hold the fifth session today, during which the public prosecution would address the tribunal.

The court decided, during the previous session held on Thursday, to pursue the prosecution in camera with a testimony by a ranking officer of the State Security, and resume the open-door proceedings today, where the public prosecution would present the case, while the designated defense would copy its file on the court expenses.

The tribunal has tasked a number of attorneys from Kuwait Lawyers Association, along with other counselors, with defending the suspects. None of the assigned barristers will be allowed to request relief from the mission, and those willing so, must present compelling reasons for abstaining. The court, at a previous session, ordered release without bail 11 of the 29 persons accused of being involved in the criminal case, however all of the accused were banned from travel.

Previous sessions witnessed cross-examining the first suspect, Abdulrahman Sabah Al-Eidan, re-examining confiscated materials including a flash memory, including statements by Fahad Suleiman Al-Qabaa, who had personally carried out the bombing attack on the mosque. The flash memory included the security camera film showing the car that boarded the suicide bomber, the moment he descended from the vehicle entering the mosque during Friday prayers as well as the actual blast.

Eidan testified that he had driven the car to the target with the attacker sitting on the front seat and that the vehicle belonged the the seventh suspect, Jarrah Nimer. The court held its first session on August 4th. The accused include seven Kuwaitis, five Saudis, three Pakistanis, 13 illegal residents in addition to another person who has remained at large.

The list also includes five others who have not been detained. Two of them have been arrested in Saudi Arabia-they are brothers; one named Majed Abdullah Al-Zahrani (the fourth defendant) and Mohammad Abdullah Al-Zahrani (the third defendant). Another brother of the two had stayed in Kuwait before being handed over to the Saudi authorities. The trio’s fourth brother is in Syria, in the ranks of the Islamic State (IS).

The mosque, located in Al-Sawaber district in the heart of Kuwait city, was bombed on June 26th, during the fasting month of Ramadan. Up to 26 people died and 227 others were injured in the attack. The attack had prompted His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to head to the scene hurriedly. Tearful and deeply distressed, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad strongly condemned the bombing, affirming that such bids intended to foment discords among the Kuwaitis would certainly fail.

“These are my sons,” were some of the words His Highness spontaneously uttered when seeing the blood-stained victims and damage at the targeted mosque. Translating his words, ordinary citizens stood in long lines at clinics after the incident donating blood for the injured, in a stance of recurrently replayed solidarity. The State received condolences on the martyrs’ loss at the Grand Mosque. – KUNA

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