Kuwait upholds death sentence for mosque blast ringleader

Kuwait upholds death sentence for mosque blast ringleader
In this June 27, 2015 file photo, mourners pray over the bodies of the victims of the Al-Imam Al-Sadeq mosque bombing during a mass funeral at Jaafari cemetery in Kuwait City. Kuwait’s supreme court on Monday upheld the death sentence handed down to the main convict in the bombing that killed 26 people. (AFP file photo)
Updated 30 May 2016

Kuwait upholds death sentence for mosque blast ringleader

Kuwait upholds death sentence for mosque blast ringleader

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s supreme court on Monday upheld the death sentence handed down to the main convict in the Daesh group bombing of a Shiite mosque that killed 26 people. Some 227 others were wounded in one of the country's worst bombings and its first ever on a mosque.
The court confirmed the sentence of capital punishment passed on Abdulrahman Sabah Saud, a stateless man who drove the Saudi suicide bomber to the mosque in June last year.
The court also upheld jail terms of between two and 15 years for eight people, including four women, and acquitted 15 others including three women.
The court did not hear the appeals of five others — four Saudis and a stateless man — who had been sentenced to death in absentia by a lower court.
Under Kuwaiti law, sentences issued in absentia are not reviewed by higher courts until those convicted appear in person.
The four Saudi men still at large include two brothers who smuggled the explosives belt used in the attack into Kuwait from Saudi Arabia. The fifth man is a stateless Arab.
Twenty-nine defendants, including seven women, had been charged with helping the suicide bomber attack a Shiite mosque in the capital, which was the bloodiest in Kuwait’s history.
A Daesh-affiliated group calling itself Najd Province claimed the bombing as well as suicide attacks on two Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia in May last year.
Najd is the central region of Saudi Arabia.
The Sunni extremists of Daesh consider Shiites to be heretics and have repeatedly attacked Shiite targets in the region.
In addition to driving the suicide bomber, Saud was also charged with bringing the explosives belt from a site near the border and aiding the bomber.
At his initial trial, Saud confessed to most charges, but later denied them all in the appeals and supreme courts.
The death penalty in Kuwait is carried out by hanging, and to be implemented it requires the approval of the Gulf state’s ruler.
Among the supreme court’s main verdicts on Monday, the court upheld the commutation of the death sentence for the alleged Daesh leader in Kuwait, Fahad Farraj Muhareb, to 15 years in prison.
It also upheld the acquittal of Jarrah Nimer, owner of the car used to transport the bomber.
Courts in Kuwait have previously handed down several verdicts against Daesh supporters and financiers.