Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah issued a warning Saturday that all those responsible for the leaking of videos revealing state security spying on Kuwaiti citizens would be punished, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
Sheikh Nawaf described the videos as an “encroachment on people’s freedoms and privacy,” adding that “no offender will escape punishment,” during a televised address.
The speech was delivered following a meeting with Kuwait’s prime minister, speaker of the National Assembly, and interior minister, Kuwait-based newspaper the Kuwait Times reported.
Controversy has emerged since a video was leaked from 2018 depicting senior officials plotting to tap the social media accounts of people, specifically those connected to the Malaysian 1MDB sovereign wealth fund scandal, which is currently under investigation in Kuwait, the Times said.
“This matter has gained my personal interest,” Sheikh Nawaf said, according to KUNA.
“This requires everyone to stop the spread of such harmful material, which only the enemies of the nation will benefit from, and those who seek to achieve their own interests and goals at the expense of our national security,” Sheikh Nawaf added.
Following the release of the video, Kuwait’s Interior Minister Anas al-Saleh immediately suspended the state security agency chief and seven officers, and an investigation is pending. The investigation has been handed over to the public prosecution for criminal investigations, the Times added.
Sheikh Nawaf also warned of the “deviating nature” of some social media reports on the issue, adding they had a “demolishing and sabotaging” effect on Kuwait’s society.
“We will not allow a misguided few to drag our country into a state of division and chaos in the name of false freedom,” he warned.
The crown prince, however, also expressed a personal commitment to freedom, noting that his “belief in the freedom of expression is firm, and our commitment to the democratic approach is firm in a way that does not accept skepticism or outbidding.”