KUWAIT: The criminal court recently passed a sentence that implies indirect condemnation of the measures followed by the government in issuing residency visas. This came when the court acquitted a number of defendants who had been accused in a case described as the largest visa forgery case, because the charges pressed against them did not match with the actions actually did.

However, the court remarked that the documents presented to it indicated the presence of a 'huge administrative error' that allowed using some exceptions as general rules.

The court added that the abuse of some administrative measures and contradiction of specialties among Ministry of Interior departments was behind malpractices concerning the issue of touristic visa permits, which eventually raised suspicions and led to bringing the defendants to court. It added that the fact that over 10,000 visas had been issued for only eight of the suspects, support those suspicions.

Discussing the testimony of the first witness, a Brigadier in the police force, he told the court that laborers working in government projects are usually brought to Kuwait via tourist visas upon the approval of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL). The witness also noted that such measures disregarded Kuwait's greater good and posed clear violation of laws and regulations.

Reconfirming that visa trafficking was a crime against ethics and humanity, the court urged concerned administrative bodies to fix the error in order to prevent it from happening against in the future, and sending innocent people to court or helping criminals escape justice. - Al-Qabas