The panel told Mustafa al-Shamali it was not satsfied with replies so far from the government
Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali at a meeting in Kuwait City in 2010. Shamali has testified before a parliamentary committee probing corruption allegations against the former prime minister, the head of the panel says. © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP
The panel told Mustafa al-Shamali it was not satsfied with replies so far from the government
AFP
Last updated: April 29, 2012

Kuwait finance minister testifies over graft case

Kuwait's Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali has testified before a parliamentary committee probing corruption allegations against the former prime minister, the head of the panel said Sunday.

"The committee has informed Shamali it was not satisfied with the replies it has received (from the government) so far and demanded complete answers," Faisal al-Muslim said after the meeting that took place late on Saturday.

The panel, formed by parliament last month, is investigating allegations that former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah transferred public funds into his private accounts overseas.

Opposition lawmaker Mussallam al-Barrak, who was the first to make the claims in September, has said that around $275 million were transferred during the six-year term of the former premier.

Sheikh Nasser, who was also implicated in another alleged corruption scandal, was forced to resign in November, leading to the dissolving of parliament snap elections in which the opposition won.

Parliament had formed a second probe panel to investigate allegations that about $350 million were deposited illegally into the accounts of 12 former MPs and a member in the current house.

The opposition charged the funds were bribes to buy their votes on crucial issues.

The two panels have already summoned several ministers, senior officials, and former and present central bank governors, and they plan to summon the current and former prime ministers.

Last week, the foreign transfers panel authorised its chairman to go to the foreign ministry to see classified documents related to the alleged scandal.

The other panel plans later this week to summon officials from local banks which held the accounts for the former MPs implicated in the scandals.

A special judicial tribunal is separately investigating whether the transfers amounted to a crime by the former prime minister, while the attorney general has been investigating the other graft case since September.

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