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MUNICH: German journalists Frederik Obermaier (L) and Bastian Obermayer (R) co-authors of the so-called “Panama Papers” investigation pose at the office of the German daily “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”. — AFP
MUNICH: German journalists Frederik Obermaier (L) and Bastian Obermayer (R) co-authors of the so-called “Panama Papers” investigation pose at the office of the German daily “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”. — AFP
Offshore accounts are for more than laundering money - 'A lot of fear about what the IRS can do'

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun on Tuesday adjourned the regular session of the Assembly for the second time for three weeks because the new Cabinet has not been formed after the previous one resigned. As Saadoun announced in the chamber that he was informed by the outgoing government that no minister will be attending the session and that he was calling the session off, MP Dawood Maarafi protested against the cancellation. Saadoun said the next sessions will be on Feb 6 and 7.

Under Kuwaiti law and practice for the past 60 years, the presence of at least one Cabinet minister is essential to convene the National Assembly session. However, Maarafi and several other MPs contend that sessions can be held without the government’s presence, insisting that there is no provision in the constitution that clearly states that the presence of ministers is essential to convene sessions.

HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah submitted his government’s resignation on Dec 20 immediately after the new Amir HH Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah took the constitutional oath in the Assembly to assume his constitutional powers following the demise of former Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Later, HH Sheikh Mishal named former foreign minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah to form the new Cabinet. So far, he has not presented his Cabinet line-up to HH the Amir.

The General Secretariat of National Assembly denied on Tuesday rumors regarding possible parliamentary queries addressed to Prime Minister-designate Sheikh Dr Mohammad, confirming that all queries were addressed to the resigned government. The secretariat said in a press statement that it was not possible to submit parliamentary grillings to a prime minister who has not taken the oath yet, in compliance with the constitution and the Assembly’s bylaws, calling for ensuring accuracy while reporting such news that may mislead the public.

Meanwhile, head of the Assembly’s human rights committee MP Mohammad Hayef said on Tuesday the panel has completed hearings in the torture case of a Kuwaiti citizen who claimed that he was illegally held and physically tortured by the defense ministry. Hayef said the panel heard the testimony of the citizen, Turki Al-Enezi, in addition to the head and members of an investigation committee formed by the defense minister to probe the case.

The committee also heard the testimonies of a number of military commanders linked directly to the torture case. The case was first exposed by MP Marzouq Al-Ghanem, who sent a series of questions to Defense Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. Hayef said the committee asked the National Assembly to extend its duration to be able to prepare the report, and as the Assembly has not met for over a month, the decision of extension is not expected before the next scheduled regular session.

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