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Kuwait jails former information minister Saad Bin Teflah

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Kuwait jails former information minister Saad Bin Teflah
Airport police in Kuwait on Saturday arrested former information minister Saad Bin Teflah as he was about to fly to Makkah with his wife and daughter to perform Umrah, his lawyer has said.

The arrest was based on a one-week jail sentence pronounced by the court on Thursday in a case brought by Finance Minister Anas Al Saleh against the former minister, the lawyer added.

“The court case was not publicised even though the address of my client is well known,” Al Hamidi Al Sabii, the lawyer, said. “The case was over an article published on Al Aan news site, and the judges sentenced him and Al Aan editor Zayed Al Zaid to one week in prison. My client was not notified about the trial date even though his home address and his work location at the University of Kuwait are well known, especially that he is a prominent Kuwaiti, Gulf and Arab figure. My client was detained at the airport,” he said, quoted by local media.

The lawyer added that he would appeal against the sentence on Sunday, when courts re-open following the two-day weekend.

“What is really odd is that usually court verdicts take around two weeks to be typed and ready, and much longer to be implemented; however, in this case, it took only hours, which led my client to believe he was being personally targeted.”
Al Sabii said that his client denied two years ago he had written the article and that Al Zaid told the police that he was the author.

“Zayed Al Zaid was brave and told the investigators that he wrote the article to defend public funds and that Dr. Ben Teflah did not have any prior knowledge about it nor had any role in it,” he said.

Bin Teflah was Kuwait’s information minister from 1999 to 2000. He has been contributing articles and analyses to several newspapers in the Gulf and beyond. He is also the publisher of Al Aan, one Kuwait’s best known news sites

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