Authorities busted a cell linked to Iran and Hezbollah in August seizing large quantities of arms
Lawmakers Wednesday traded sectarian accusations in a debate over an alleged Iran-linked cell charged with plotting attacks in the country.
Sunni MPs strongly criticised Iran and its allied Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia for their alleged role in forming a “terror” cell.
Kuwaiti authorities in August busted what they called a cell linked to Iran and Hezbollah and seized large quantities of arms, explosives and ammunition.
Twenty-five Kuwaitis, all from the minority Shiite community, and one Iranian are being tried for plotting attacks, spying for Iran and for joining Hezbollah.
“Iran is hatching evil plots against Kuwait ... Iran is responsible for terror cells,” Islamist MP Ahmad Al Azemi said during a debate as parliament opened its new term.
MP Abdullah Al Turaiji charged that all the arms seized in the case were smuggled from abroad, with a clear hint at neighbouring Iran.
But senior Shiite MP Adnan Abdul Samad urged lawmakers not to rush into judgements before the court issued its verdict in the case.
“We are against terrorism and those who work against Kuwait ... but some have been issuing unfair judgements to terrorise us (Shiites),” Abdulsamad said.
“Accusations have been levelled against the whole community... influenced by regional sectarian hatred,” the veteran lawmaker said.
Abdul Samad also charged that some of the confessions of the alleged cell members were extracted under torture, and said most of the seized arms dated back to the 1990-1991 Iraqi occupation.
Justice Minister Yaqoub Al Sane rejected accusations against the Kuwaiti judiciary or the public prosecution.
During the debate, some MPs accused their Shiite colleagues of being “lawyers for Iran.”
Shiites form around 30 percent of Kuwait’s native population of 1.3 million and have seven MPs in the 50-seat parliament.
The lower court is scheduled to hear the defence on Thursday before setting a date to issue its verdict.
Iran has officially denied any links to the suspects.
In June, 26 worshippers were killed when a Saudi bomber affiliated to Daesh, blew himself up in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City.
The court has sentenced seven others to death for involvement in the attack.