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Wed 16 May 2012 11:43 AM

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Kuwait's ex-premier snubs graft probe

Sheikh al-Sabah fails to appear at court, claims panel does not have power to summon him

Kuwait's ex-premier snubs graft probe
Ex-PM Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

Kuwait’s former prime minister refuse to appear in
front of a parliamentary panel probing allegations of graft made against him, saying the
summons issued towards him were illegal.

In a letter, Sheikh Nasser Mohammad
al-Ahmad al-Sabah, prime minister from 2006 to 2011, said the panel did not have the power to summon him, as it could only investigation ministers and government employees,
reported AFP.

Al-Sabah, who is a senior member of
Kuwait’s ruling family, also said that he had been cleared by a special judicial
tribunal, which chose Thursday to end its investigation into the case,
highlighting a lack of evidence.

He was scheduled to appear in front of the
parliamentary probe on Monday.

Sheikh Nasser is accused by the Gulf state's opposition
of transferring millions of dollars of public funds into his foreign bank
accounts, reported the newswire.

 “All
the transfers were in the service of the interests of Kuwait and contained no
personal benefit,” Al-Sabah claimed, denying the allegations.

Opposition MP Faisal al-Muslim, head of the
parliamentary panel, told reporters the committee had not accepted Sheikh
Nasser’s refusal to appear before the panel, and had issued new summons to take place May
26.

Al-Sabah resigned as prime minister on November 28,
following youth-led street protests, which deepened after
allegations of corruption were made against him in August and September of last
year.  

Following his resignation, Kuwait's ruling emir dissolved the parliament and snap elections were held and subsequently won by the opposition.

In a session last month, the Kuwaiti
parliament voted to lift MPs' immunity against investigation, allowing their cases to be
referred to court.