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Kuwaiti MPs request to quiz premier over alleged graft

The accusations made by opposition MPs allege that the prime minister ordered the transfer of millions of dollars from public funds into private accounts held by him abroad

AFP , Tuesday 15 Nov 2011
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Three opposition MPs on Tuesday filed a request to question the Kuwaiti prime minister in parliament over allegations of graft involving MPs and illegal overseas money transfers.

The move came immediately after the government and its supporters in parliament succeeded in rejecting a similar request to grill Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, also over alleged corruption.

The new request was filed by MPs Mussallam al-Barrak, Faisal al-Muslim and Abdulrahman al-Anjari, representing an opposition bloc comprising 20 MPs in the 50-member house. Six more MPs said they supported the opposition.

The request alleges that the prime minister failed to take adequate measures to deal with a corruption scandal involving 16 MPs who reportedly received US$350 million in bribes to sell their votes on crucial issues.

It also alleges that the prime minister ordered the transfer of millions of dollars from public funds into private accounts held by him abroad.

The government has denied any bad intention saying the prime minister has repaid all the sums to the state treasury.

This issue had forced former foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, to resign.

Opposition MPs have accused Sheikh Nasser, a senior member of the ruling family, of various charges of corruption including issuing cheques to MPs to win their votes.

Sheikh Nasser, 71, has been a target of opposition attacks since he was appointed to the prime minister post in February 2006, forcing him to resign six times. Parliament was also dissolved three times in the same period.

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