KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – An Islamist opposition MP on Thursday filed to quiz Kuwaiti Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah over allegations of financial violations in the ministry.
“The minister is responsible for committing a number of financial and administrative violations that he has refused to rectify despite repeated appeals,” MP Daifallah Buramia told reporters after filing the request.
He also claimed that the independent accounting watchdog, the Audit Bureau, was prevented from monitoring defence ministry contracts and its team to the ministry was forced to pull out.
The lawmaker also accused Sheikh Jaber, also first deputy prime minister, of being responsible for the death of several Kuwaiti soldiers during wargames in northern Kuwait several years ago.
“I have filed this grilling in order to carry out my duty as a lawmaker to safeguard public funds,” Buramia said.
Kuwait’s parliament voted unanimously two weeks ago to ask the Audit Bureau to probe three planned arms deals with the United States and France that one lawmaker said are worth billions of dollars.
The decision, requested by 32 MPs and not opposed by cabinet ministers present at the parliamentary session, calls on the independent Audit Bureau to investigate whether the acts were “in line with Kuwaiti laws.”
The contracts concern the planned purchase of an unspecified number of US Hercules transport aircraft, an ammunition factory and up to 28 French-made Rafale warplanes.
This is the fourth grilling request to be filed against senior members of the Kuwaiti cabinet and the Al-Sabah ruling family.
On Wednesday, two MPs filed to quiz the ministers of interior and public works over alleged financial and administrative violations and misleading parliament.
On Sunday, an Islamist MP filed to question Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah for alleged misuse of public funds by his office and for issuing a 700,000-dollar cheque for a former MP.
The prime minister, defence and interior ministers are senior members of the ruling family.
OPEC member Kuwait has been embroiled in political instability that has led to five cabinet reshuffles and three parliamentary elections since February 2006.