Kuwait MPs Aim to Quiz Interior Minister on 'Torture' Death

Three Kuwaiti opposition MPs on Monday filed to question the interior minister in parliament over the death of a man in a police station allegedly as a result of severe torture.

The request, filed by Waleed al-Tabtabai, Shuaib al-Muwaizri and Salem al-Namlan, contends that Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Khaled al-Sabah was politically responsible for the man's death.

The three MPs said they filed to question the minister because of the "death of a citizen under (police) torture, misleading the public and misuse of authority," according to the request.

Sheikh Jaber, a member of the ruling family, submitted his resignation on January 13 over the affair but the cabinet asked him to stay in his post and follow investigations into the case.

Mohammed Ghazzai al-Mutairi, 35, was found dead when he arrived at the hospital of the southern oil-rich city of Ahmadi from a nearby police station in the early hours of January 11.

The next day, the interior minister told parliament the man had died after complaining of chest pain and having resisted police when arrested on suspicion of trading in alcohol, which is banned in the conservative Muslim state.

But Sheikh Jaber and the interior ministry both retracted earlier statements, acknowledging there was a criminal suspicion behind the death of Mutairi, and formed a high-level probe at the ministry.

The probe panel has already referred six policemen to the public prosecution on suspicion of having tortured the man to death