Kuwait Tries 68 Activists for Storming Parliament

Posted on: June 26, 2012 at 00:40
A Kuwaiti court began Monday the trial of 68 youth activists, including nine MPs, for storming the parliament building in November to demand the resignation of the former prime minister, a lawyer said.

The court accused the activists with various charges including storming parliament, resisting police, unauthorized gathering and urging policemen to disobey orders, Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie, one of the defense lawyers, told AFP.

If convicted, the men could face jail terms of between three and 10 years depending on the charge, the lawyer said.

The court set its next hearing for October 8 to allow time for defense lawyers to read the case documents, and for the court officials to ask parliament to lift the immunity of the nine lawmakers, Subaie said.

All the activists are free on a $3,600 bail each. Some of them were arrested at the time of the incident and detained for two weeks.

Hundreds of opposition youth activists stormed parliament on November 16 following clashes with riot police during a massive rally to demand the resignation of former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah accepted his resignation on November 28 and replaced him with his deputy Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah.

The protests came on the heels of allegations of two corruption cases involving at least 13 members of the parliament elected in 2009 and dissolved by the emir in December, and the former premier. A new parliament was elected in February.

The constitutional court in the oil-rich Gulf state, however, nullified the legislative polls last week, scrapping the new parliament dominated by the opposition and reinstating the old pro-government house.

The opposition rejected the verdict, describing it ''null and void'' and called on its supporters to demonstrate on Tuesday.

Source:Agence France Presse
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