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Thu 15 Mar 2012 03:04 PM

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Kuwait to probe corruption, smuggling and torture

Parliament voted to set up enquiry into allegations of graft by former MPs

Kuwait to probe corruption, smuggling and torture
The National Assembly voted on Wednesday to set up two commissions of inquiry into allegations of graft by former MPs.

Members of Kuwait’s new parliament have agreed to launch probes into allegations of corruption, smuggling and torture, according to the state news agency.

The National Assembly voted on Wednesday to set up two commissions of inquiry into allegations of graft by former MPs, KUNA reported.

Kuwait’s Emir dissolved the previous parliament and called elections at the end of 2011, amid news of a scandal that charged MPs with bribery and corruption.

Some 45 people were arrested at the time, which saw opposition party members and anti-government protesters storm parliament, demanding the country’s former premier answer questions.

The public attorney has since asked a special judicial tribunal to investigate allegations against the previous prime minister, who was accused of having transferred hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds into his private bank accounts abroad.

The government called on the state's accounting watchdog, the Audit Bureau, to examine the alleged transfers of Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who is a member of the Gulf emirate's ruling family.

The new parliament is dominated by opposition party members, but is making moves to put an end to corruption.

According to KUNA, a third parliamentary panel has been established to probe "everything related to smuggling diesel," and a fourth will investigate a controversial contract between the state-owned Kuwait Oil and Anglo-Dutch giant Shell.

Two other panels will look into alleged "violations" against people held in police custody and the enforcement of broadcasting laws.

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