AP NEWS

Kuwait’s ruler fires son over feud with fellow minister

November 18, 2019
FILE - In this March 31, 2019 file photo, Kuwait's ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, attends the opening of the 30th Arab Summit, in Tunis, Tunisia. Kuwait’s ruler has fired two warring Cabinet ministers at the center of embezzlement allegations and directed the prime minister to form a new government. Al Sabah issued the decree Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, just days after Kuwait’s Cabinet resigned amid another inquiry. (Fethi Belaid/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - In this March 31, 2019 file photo, Kuwait's ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, attends the opening of the 30th Arab Summit, in Tunis, Tunisia. Kuwait’s ruler has fired two warring Cabinet ministers at the center of embezzlement allegations and directed the prime minister to form a new government. Al Sabah issued the decree Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, just days after Kuwait’s Cabinet resigned amid another inquiry. (Fethi Belaid/Pool Photo via AP, File)

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwait’s ruler on Monday fired his own son and another Cabinet minister after they publicly feuded over accusations of corruption, ordering the prime minister to form a new government.

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah issued the decree just days after Kuwait’s Cabinet resigned amid a separate inquiry. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah, who has held the post since 2011, has asked the emir to relieve him of the task of forming a new government.

The emir fired both Defense Minister Nasser Al Sabah — his son — and Interior Minister Khaled Al Sabah, who had issued statements against each other. The defense minister said he discovered that $790 million was embezzled while the interior minister served as his predecessor.

Sheikh Nasser is seeking the prosecution of his predecessor along with five other top Defense Ministry officials over the alleged embezzlement. The Cabinet resigned last week after a minister stepped down following a grilling by parliament.

The Justice Ministry imposed a gag order banning local media from reporting on the embezzlement case. It said the trial would be closed and that no information related to it should be circulated in social or traditional media.

“As this issue is being deliberated by our independent judiciary, we urge everyone to not discuss it in the media until the law takes its course,” the emir said in a televised address.

“We are committed to protecting public funds. No one convicted of squandering public funds will escape the law. No corrupt individuals will be protected, and I will personally follow this issue.”

While Sheikh Nasser is not currently in line for the throne, his appointment as defense minister drew attention as it came after Saudi King Salman similarly appointed his son to defense minister before upending succession and making him the crown prince.

Parliamentary elections are expected in November 2020.