Kuwait’s highest court sentences lawmakers to prison

File photo of Kuwaiti National Assembly guards walk inside the building in Kuwait City. (AFP)

Kuwait’s highest court on Sunday ordered an opposition leader and several lawmakers imprisoned for three and-a-half years over the 2011 storming of parliament during the country’s Arab Spring protests.

The case before Kuwait’s Court of Cassation involved dozens of politicians, activists and others. The defendants were initially acquitted in the years-long case, but a shock court decision in November resurrected the charges against them.

Among those sentenced on Sunday was Musallam al-Barrack, an opposition leader who left prison in April 2017 after serving a two-year sentence on separate charges. Sitting and former lawmakers also were sentenced to prison. The case involved a total of 70 defendants.

Al-Barrack had left Kuwait before the sentencing. He could not be immediately reached for comment.

As Arab Spring protests convulsed the region in 2011, amid strikes and confrontations with police, protesters briefly entered Kuwait parliament on Nov. 16, 2011, waving flags and singing the country’s national anthem.

The activists were initially charged after the storming of the parliament but a lower court in 2013 ruled they had no criminal intent during the incident. However, a surprise appeals court ruling last November sentenced dozens of defendants to prison terms of as much as nine years.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53