KUWAIT: Suspects in the bombing of the Imam Al- Sadeq Mosque yesterday told the appeals court that they were not guilty and retracted their confessions made in the criminal court, which sentenced seven of them to death.
The top suspect, Abdulrahman Sabah, the alleged driver of the bomber, told the appeals court in the first hearing that the confessions they made were extracted from them under torture.
Sabah also said that he had not seen the explosives belt although he had told the criminal court that he had brought it from near the Saudi border and given it to the Saudi bomber who blew himself in the mosque, killing 26 people and wounding 227 others.
Sabah also retracted that he had driven the bomber to the mosque to carry out the suicide attack. The criminal court had sentenced Sabah and six others to death, five of them in absentia. The court also sentenced eight other suspects to jail terms ranging from two to 15 years.
They include five of the seven women involved in the case. The remaining 14 other suspects were acquitted. The other suspect who received the death sentence, Fahd Faraj, described as the leader of the Islamic State in Kuwait, also denied that he had any links with the terrorist group which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. The court set Oct 29 for the next session and summoned the investigating officer to hear his testimony.
Meanwhile, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday at Bayan Palace Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The Amir, during the meeting, praised Sheikh Mohammad, MoI Undersecretary Lt Gen Suleiman Al-Fahad, senior security commanders and personnel for the diligent and sincere efforts they exerted in execution of field operations.
The Amir praised the security chiefs and personnel for carrying out these field missions aimed at safeguarding the security of the citizens and residents of the country, also hailing their efforts to maintain security and stability of the dear homeland.
In another development, as the National Assembly gets ready for the new term opener tomorrow, Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem hosted a traditional dinner for members of parliament and the Cabinet. A large number of MPs and ministers attended the banquet. MP Nabil Al-Fadhl meanwhile said that a four-MP panel has been formed to coordinate the election of Assembly committees in order to ensure consensus among lawmakers. The panel consists of MPs Fadhl, Mohammad Al- Huwaila, Youssef Al-Zalzalah and Ahmad Lari.
The lawmaker said that the aim of the panel is to elect committees by consensus so the time of the Assembly is not wasted, but this does not mean the panel will try to deprive any member of his right to contest the election if no consensus is reached. All the committees are elected through a secret ballot. MP Rakan Al-Nisf meanwhile sent a number of questions to Information Minister Sheikh Salman Humoud Al- Sabah about an entertainment program on Kuwait TV. He asked the minister about who the producer of the program is and whether it is a Kuwaiti or foreign one. He asked if the production company is not Kuwaiti, why did the ministry select it and on what basis.
By B Izzak and Agencies