[QODLink]
Middle East

Kuwaiti court frees opposition leader on bail

Court of Appeals frees Mussallam al-Barrak on bail, but delays final verdict over the insulting of emir to a later date.

Last Modified: 22 Apr 2013 09:43
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

An appeals court in Kuwait has freed on bail an opposition leader at the centre of a political standoff, delaying the final verdict to an unspecified later date. 

Mussallam al-Barrak, who has so far evaded arrest, was sentenced to five years in jail for insulting the the emir of the Gulf state.

Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Kuwait City, said that the delay is "probably the best situation" that the government could have opted for. 

"On one hand, it appeases the opposition supporters, many of whom had threatened to stage large scale demonstrations if Barrak was put behind bars," said Elshayyal. 

"On the other hand, it may change the threat of sending him to jail that would be a cloud hanging over his head - a very valuable card for the government to use in its negotiations if continued political standoffs continue."

Reacting to the court decision, opposition supporters who had gathered outside the court cheered and expressed happiness that the country's diverse opposition had rallied around Barrak. 

Elshayyal added that the opposition would still be "on edge" until any final verdict. The court has yet to decide a date for the next hearing. 

He said this offers an opportunity for the two parties to reach an agreement, which could pave the way for a lighter or suspended sentence, which may ease the tense situation. 

229

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list