Kuwait News



KUWAIT: Kuwaiti astronomer Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi said that in view of the cold weather in many neighboring countries, temperatures were expected to drop to zero in outlying areas at the dawn on Sunday and between 0-3 C in urban areas. He based his predictions on the approach of frigid North Siberian winds. Ojairi also predicted rain showers in various areas on Saturday right before the drop in temperature. Meanwhile, assistant undersecretary for public education at the Education Ministry Khaled Al- Rasheed informed all educational area directors to cancel the morning assemblies on cold days. He also stressed the need to authorize school directors to decide on holding morning assemblies on cold days. —Al-Watan


KUWAIT: If you drive your car over a deep pothole, break the chassis and end up with a large bill from the mechanic, what are your options in Kuwait? Many individuals wonder what could be done in such instances and who is to be blamed for road repairs and damage to cars. Attorney Mubarak Mijzea argues that it is possible to seek compensation from the government if a bad road causes damage to a vehicle or injures a person. The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is the institution in charge of road conditions and safety in Kuwait.

According to the Kuwaiti civil law, any person who was subject to harm has the right to be compensated, Mijzea said, adding that in order to file a case, three criteria need to exist – the damage, fault and the resulting relation between them. “For instance, the victim should prove that the vehicle was damaged, that the ministry didn’t do their duty to fix the damage to the road, and finally that this road lies under the responsibility of the MPW,” he explained.

It’s not only vehicles that can be subject to harm as a result of damaged roads. According to the attorney, one of the cases he recently counseled involved parents who sued the MPW for not maintaining the roads properly and leaving a manhole uncovered. Their young son fell in this manhole and broke his leg in addition to sustaining other injuries. “The MPW claimed that the cover of the manhole was stolen, and that there was a construction project in that area, so we expanded the case to include the contractor and the owner of the company working on this project.

We won the case and the family was compensated,” stressed Mijzea. Filing cases against the MPW is not common because not all drivers file a case against the ministry and they don’t like to go through a long procedure, especially when the damage is not very serious or expensive. “Most people would rather fix their car instead of running after the compensation which is not high anyway. In fact, filing a case against the MPW is the same as filing a case against the Ministry of Health. For instance, when a patient is harmed due to a medical mistake, he sues the ministry which is responsible for the hospital,” he said, adding that the same system applies to all the ministries.

The responsibility for various road problems is shared between different institutions. “Sometimes different authorities work on roads such as the Ministry of Communication, Municipality, telecommunication companies or contractors working on various projects and roads. So if the harmed person complains and files a case, he has to also include these other institutions who carry part of the responsibility,” he noted. “The harmed individual should first complain at the police station to prove the harm and damage.

Then when filing a case at the court, an expert or an engineer from the court will go within a week or two to check the location and make a report to be added to the file,” concluded Mijzea. A source from the MPW who wished to stay anonymous noted that the MPW is dealing with all complaints and tries to fix such problems in a timely manner. “We have a hotline (150) where people can call and complain about any road problems. Statistics have been published in the local press showing the amount of complaints we have dealt with. MPW also ranked first out of other institutions in dealing and responding to public complaints,” he explained

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said yesterday that Kuwait solidly backs Saudi Arabia over the Iranian danger in the region but said the so-called Iranian danger should not be magnified. “We and Saudi Arabia complement each other. We may be considered as one side in this issue but we should not inflate this danger (from Iran),” the premier told reporters in response to a question about if Kuwait was mediating between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He however insisted that the most important factor was to keep “our domestic front strong and in total solidarity”.

The prime minister said that the final communique of the GCC summit was very clear towards Iran which is a neighbouring country and “we hope that ties with it will be good”. Sheikh Jaber was responding to a question about reports that said the positions of the six-GCC states towards Iran were not unanimous. He said that Kuwait does not have many differences with Iran “but we belong to the GCC and we are with all the GCC states in this issue”.

The premier said that the issue of GCC states taking part in negotiations between Iran and Western powers over Tehran’s nuclear program is “premature and all parties must approve this”. Sheikh Jaber said the unified military command established by the GCC leaders is an advanced stage over the GCC Peninsula Shield forces because it includes naval and air forces.

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Investigations are ongoing in a case of an Interior Ministry official accused of using his position to pass transactions illegally according to sources familiar with the case. The sources who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity further indicated that the man’s son was also held for questioning in a case involving 3,000 transactions for expatriates that were illegally passed at the Immigration General Department. The official was suspended after investigations revealed that he wrote the name of a senior ministry official on transactions to make it seem that the papers are exempt from regular procedures.

Auto thieves
Taima police arrested two people responsible for 8 auto theft cases reported around Jahra governorate. The two men, a Saudi and bedoon (stateless), were detained following investigations during which they were identified as prime suspects. The suspects led police to the spots where they kept the 8 stolen vehicles, as well as license plates and computers they stole in separate thefts. They were taken to the authorities to face charges.

Suspects caught
Jahra police arrested four people following a car chase which saw the suspects fire gunshots in a bid to distract policemen and escape. Police had gone in pursuit of the Syrian nationals after discovering that the 2010 model car they were driving was reported stolen. The suspects fired shots from a mechanical weapon during the chase, but were eventually forced to stop at a roadblock. They were placed under arrest after putting up strong resistance during which one police officer sustained a stab wound on his hand. Police searched the car but could not find the weapon, which the suspects said they threw away during the pursuit. Jerrycans filled with fuel were also found in the car as the suspects explained that they planned to use the fuel to burn other vehicles that they stole. They were taken to the authorities to face multiple charges.

Illegal accounts
Criminal Investigations General Department officers closed two Instagram accounts and summoned the accounts’ owners for questioning regarding unlicensed massage services they were promoting. Legal action was taken following investigations which confirmed that the two promoted massage services for male customers carried out by female masseuses.

Khaitan suicide
A man was found dead inside a Khaitan apartment in a suicide case according to preliminary investigations. Police and paramedics headed to the scene after an Egyptian reported that his roommate committed suicide. The 35-year-old Indian man was found hanging dead from a rope tied to the ceiling of his room. The body was taken to the forensic department after crime scene investigators examined the place. Investigations are ongoing to determine the circumstances which led the man to end his life.

Nugra gang
Hawally police freed a woman who was kidnapped and locked inside a Nugra apartment where she was forced on prostitution. The operation which saw police raid the apartment and arrest the suspect and another man went underway based on investigations after police received information that the apartment was being used to offer sexual services. Investigations revealed that the Asian woman was kidnapped by an Egyptian man who then assaulted her sexually and physically before forcing her to practice prostitution. The woman was taken to the hospital whereas her kidnappers were taken to the Public Prosecution for further action.

KUWAIT: State employees and school students will have a two-day holiday on New Year according to a report yesterday quoting a senior official in the Civil Service Commission. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the source explained that Jan 1, 2014 falls on a Wednesday, making the following day a day off automatically since it falls between the holiday and the weekend. “The CSC has prepared a letter to be sent to the Cabinet for approval before being circulated to state departments within two weeks,” the source said.

In other news, Al-Watan daily reported a ‘senior official’ in the Ministry of Education who indicated that there are no present plans to give students a day off during the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on Tuesday and Wednesday. Students were given a day off when Kuwait hosted the Arab-Africa Summit last month to avoid traffic pressure resulting from closing main roads.

KUWAIT: He works as a security guard in a mall with mobile earphones always in his ears. Many who pass by him think he is listening to songs, but the truth is he makes daily calls to his family in Egypt for more than 12 hours. Ahmad Nasser, 25, speaks about the story of the daily calls that take hours. “I use Skype and Viber on my smartphone to call my family and keep the phone on all day long to talk to my parents, wife, brothers and sisters as if I am with them, and it costs me nothing,” he said.

Nasser is one of many expats in Kuwait who have broken down the walls of being away from home by using that small earpiece and utilize smartphone apps that allow free international calls. Salah Deen from Bangladesh, who works as a supervisor in the capital, never lets the earpiece leave his ear, and speaks while carrying out his job. He said that “two years ago, I was calling my family twice a month by using prepaid calling cards or by mobile which cost me around KD 5-10 to speak for half an hour, but now it costs me nothing other than an Internet subscription for KD 5 and I speak with them for more than four hours daily”.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications called subscribers of phone services to pay their financial bills in order to avoid automatic coder disconnect, slated to be implemented during current month against those who are lagging on payment. A first warning note would be sent to subscribers on December 8 before applying coder disconnect, followed by a second warning note to be sent to subscribers’ phone numbers on Dec 15, Dr. Ahmad Al-Hussaini, Director of public relations department at the ministry said in a press statement. Then, the ministry will go ahead and disconnect the service from subscribers who lagged on paying their bills, Al-Hussaini added, noting that financial rates for overdue bills are KD 50 for home phone services and KD 100 for business phone service.

Also, he indicated that the automatic coder disconnect will include phone numbers that agreed on leasing their overdue payments and were late in making their monthly payment, adding that phone numbers of those late in paying their annual subscriptions, over six months, will include homes and businesses for non-Kuwaitis, and business for Kuwaitis. In addition, Al-Hussaini stressed importance of commitment of paying the ministry financial bills for the continuation of phone services and avoidance of automatic coder disconnect, expressing at the same time his appreciation to subscribers who showed their cooperation with the ministry in the past months.

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