Kuwaiti riot police take position northwest of Kuwait City, on December 16, 2011
Kuwaiti riot police take position northwest of Kuwait City, on December 16, 2011 © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP/File
Kuwaiti riot police take position northwest of Kuwait City, on December 16, 2011
AFP
Last updated: May 27, 2014

Iraqi killer of Kuwaiti coast guard gets reduced term

Kuwait's appeals court Monday commuted the death sentence of an Iraqi fisherman who killed a coast guard to life imprisonment, according to the court verdict.

Taha Mahmud Sabhan was sentenced to death by the lower court in November 2012 for killing a Kuwaiti coast guard in a shootout in January the previous year.

The shooting took place after an Iraqi fishing boat with Sabhan and seven others aboard crossed into Kuwaiti waters and refused to stop, Kuwait's interior ministry said.

Two of the seven were handed three-year sentences by the court and a third, who is a minor, was jailed for a year. The remaining four received life terms in absentia after they fled.

But the appeals court on Monday commuted all the life terms to three years in jail and upheld the other sentences.

The sentences have to be reviewed by Kuwait's supreme court to become final.

Kuwait's coast guard often seizes Iraqi fishing boats and detains fishermen for illegally entering Kuwaiti waters.

Iraq approved a deal last year with Kuwait regulating the use of a shared waterway through which most of Baghdad's oil exports flow, which Iraq had accused the emirate of attempting to cut off.

Control of the Khor Abdullah waterway is one of several issues between the two countries that has not been resolved since now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of the emirate.

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