Kuwait: MPS want corrupt officials brought to justice

A new political crisis could surface again in Kuwait after a parliamentary investigation report accused several senior government officials including two former oil ministers for mismanaging public funds and making illegal profits in a joint venture deal between the state and the Dow Chemical in 2008. The short-lived agreement with the U.S based petrochemicals giant was worth $17,4billion but was terminated a few months later by Kuwait when the political dispute between the government and the parliament was tense.

Some 24 former oil officials have been accused of playing a role in the deal and the parliament has referred the matter to the public prosecutor urging him to take action.

Some Members of Parliament said the investigations should have included other senior government officials and members of the Supreme Petroleum Council who took decisions related to the deal.

Sheikh Al-Sabah, State Minister for cabinet Affairs, said legal actions will be undertaken.

There are also questions about the $2.2billion fine ordered by the International Chamber of Commerce in arbitration for the unilateral termination of the agreement that was paid in May 2013 despite the parliament’s request to delay the fine payment till the parliamentary investigations are over.

Many MPs described the fine as “the robbery of the century” and claimed the payment was deliberately rushed for selfish interests.

The report is not supported by all the deputies in the parliament. Some of them claimed that it was a witch-hunt of certain officials and that the investigations were “unfair, biased and politically motivated” for they sidelined a large number of former and current top officials linked to the controversial joint venture deal.

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