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Wed 13 Aug 2008 11:39 AM

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Drugs case Sheikh appeals against death sentence

Sheikh Talal Nasser Al-Sabah makes plea to Emir of Kuwait for pardon.

A member of the Kuwaiti royal family who was sentenced to death after trying to smuggle drugs into the country has appealed to his family for a pardon.

Sheikh Talal Nasser Al-Sabah was caught by Kuwaiti police with 10kg of cocaine and 165lb of hashish.

When sentencing him to death in 2007, Judge Humoud Al-Mutwatah said that he had “willingly walked the path of evil” and deserved no mercy.

But Al-Sabah has announced in the Kuwaiti press that he has appealed to the Emir to grant a pardon, and that senior members of the Royal Family were lobbying for him with the country's ruler, the UK-based Times reported on Wednesday.

It was the first time that a member of a Gulf royal family had been condemned to death by a court, and is widely seen as a test case for the impartiality of the law in a country where the convict's relative, the Emir, could pardon him.

The sheikh is the nephew of a previous Emir of Kuwait, Jaber al-Sabah, who died in 2006, and is one of hundreds of members of the ruling family, the paper added.

Since it introduced the death penalty 40 years ago, Kuwait has executed more than 70 people, most of them convicted for drug smuggling or murder.

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kaptain 12 years ago

Let's see how core values of justice are respected. Sentence would be converted to life term and release after few years.

Trojan 12 years ago

I hope that the Kuwaiti government upholds the law and shows no one is above it. The Tamim case was enough of a circus, we don't need to be disgusted more with the rich and affluent getting away with murder.

hombil 12 years ago

The law and the Emir of Kuwait are put to test. Let's see whether the law is same for the royals and the common man! How can senior members of the royal family lobby for the culprit? Where are their Islamic values?

annlar 12 years ago

Yes, it will be interesting to see how this turns out. And - what the explanations, by the court will be when he is pardoned. Which I am sure will happen.

annlar 12 years ago

While I can appreciate our comments to be monitored for rude and crude postings, I am surprised to find that comments are not posted at all, or in my case, were partially deleted? Isn't there freedom of speech at this newspaper. Editor's note: We encourage all visitors to leave comments on stories but they are subject to editing to remove any inappropriate or offensive material before publication.

Robert 12 years ago

You mean WHEN he is pardoned and released.

Saeed Iqbal 12 years ago

I pray to God for his life....even the ones before were sentenced to death....I pray to God that they change this cruel law to a 1 year or 3 year imprisonment....He has not committed a murder.

Mohamed Al Khatib 12 years ago

... but especially for those who have not committed a capital crime (murder). Equal justice for all should mean noone gets this barbaric punishment. Hopefully, he will have his sentence reset to something appropriate and the royal family will rethink executions at the same time.

Mike 12 years ago

Comments made by people stating "he has not committed murder" seem to be ignoring the harsh reality of smuggled drugs. Those who make these drugs available are condeming the users to death by setting them on the road to addiction and crime with many ending up dead as a rsult, so lets get real here guys. The Sheikh committed the crime in full knowledge of the law and penalties for breaking the law so on what legitimate grounds should he be excused? The question of whether capital punishment is right or wrong is a separate argument and should not be used to cloud the issues at stake in this case.

Joe Simm 12 years ago

They should rethink all executions for drug running while tightening up penalties for honour killings. Our women need help!