KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Kuwait’s public prosecution plans to demand capital punishment for some of a group of 16 policemen on charges of torturing a man to death, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.
The prosecution has ordered that the 16, including three officers, be detained pending trial, a date for which has not yet been fixed, Al-Jarida daily cited unnamed informed sources as saying.
The prosecution plans to press charges of premeditated murder, abduction, forced detention, torture and forgery against some of the accused, it said.
The case came to light after 35-year-old Mohammad Ghazzai al-Mutairi arrived at the hospital dead from a nearby police station in the southern oil-rich city of Ahmadi in the early hours of January 11.
The medical report said the man had bruises and injuries all over his body and that his legs were tied on arrival.
The next day, Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Khaled al-Sabah told parliament the man had died after complaining of chest pain and resisting police when arrested on suspicion of trading in alcohol, which is banned in the conservative Muslim state.
But Sheikh Jaber and the interior ministry both retracted earlier statements, acknowledging that a crime was suspected in Mutairi’s death, and a high-level probe was set up at the ministry.
A parliamentary panel formed to investigate the case found that Mutairi was apparently arrested for personal reasons and that he was subjected to severe torture for six days, three of them at a remote place in the desert.
Three opposition lawmakers on Monday filed to question the Gulf state’s interior minister in parliament over the case, with a subsequent debate expected on March 8.