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MENAFN - Arab Times - 27/03/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) A number of lawmakers called on the government Monday to work on fast-tracking the release of Kuwaiti prisoner in Iraq, Ali Al-Harbi. They warned the situation may lead to the questioning of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, if he does not push for the prisoner's release during the Arab League Summit in Baghdad.

MP Abdulhamid Dashti assured that Al-Harbi, who was detained in 2004 on charges of illegal entry into Iraq, will be released in the near future. He disclosed "he arrives in Iraq in the next few days and will use his good relationships with the Iraqi leadership to ensure the prisoner's release."

Dashti said that that Al-Harbi went to Iraq in 2004 to purchase horses with two friends from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when they were arrested. The two Emiratis were released in 2008 while Al-Harbi remains detained in prison.

A number of MPs also expressed their chagrin on the case in a press conference at the National Assembly. MP Falah Al-Sawwagh added that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki "has visited the State of Kuwait more than once and there weren't any developments on the case." He called on "HH the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to bring Ali Al-Harbi with him when he returns from the Arab League Summit in Baghdad."

Furthermore, Al-Sawwagh held Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled responsible for pursuing the prisoner's release, "especially since Al-Harbi was unjustly detained."

On his part, MP Khaled Shukhayyer said that, during his last visit, "Al-Maliki assured he had no knowledge of the case and will look into it once he returns to Iraq." MP Abdullah Al-Barghash described Al-Harbi's case as "a national tragedy". He said that some authorities did not work on the Kuwaiti's release as like UAE diplomats who've ensured that their countrymen, who were arrested for the same reasons, were discharged.

MP Ahmed Lari expressed hope that all concerned entities will put all efforts to ensure the release of all Kuwaiti prisoners in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay or Iran or any other country. He stressed that any human being should not be detained without trial "and at the same time we condone holding accountable any human being who has committed a crime, but after a fair trial."

Moreover, MP Ahmed Al-Azmi hoped that HH the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah directly orders the Foreign Minister to work on the Al-Harbi's release; "especially since there is no evidence against his entrance to Iraq except his desire to purchase horses."


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