Kuwait imposes news blackout over ‘coup’ plot tapes

Kuwait imposes news blackout over ‘coup’ plot tapes
Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:50:51

The Kuwaiti kingdom has imposed a news blackout over a probe into reports of a recording that allegedly reveals a plot to overthrow the Persian Gulf state’s ruling system.

Kuwait’s public prosecutor opened a case in December 2013 after receiving a legal complaint that demanded an investigation into Internet-based tweet communication about the recording, state news agency KUNA reported on Friday.

The issue has been extensively covered in the local media and prompted a rare statement this week by the office of Kuwait’ ruler Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, demanding people to stop discussing the case in order to preserve ‘national unity.’

The Attorney General ordered the maintenance of secrecy over the investigation and banned publication of any information on “the existence of a tape that contains information and statements implicating some people of conspiring to overthrow the ruling system in the country and challenge the rights and authority of his highness the emir,” according to the statement carried by KUNA.

The judiciary statement further forbids discussion of the alleged coup attempt in any form, including news outlets and social media.

It claimed that such rumors were damaging to the interests of the US-backed kingdom.

The attorney-general’s statement, which came one day after the statement issued by the emir’s office, further claimed that the prosecutor would inform media outlets on the results of the case once the investigation is complete.

The oil-rich Persian Gulf emirate enjoys a more open political system, compared to other despotic Arab kingdoms in the region, thanks to its elected parliament.

The 50-member assembly can question government ministers and block legislation, while the ruling emir has the final say on state affairs.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah rose to power in 2006 after his ailing predecessor stepped down.

Sheikh Sabah’s brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, is next in line to become emir in Kuwait’s 250-year-old dynasty.


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