Municipal Council Bribery Case: Defendants convicted and sentenced

The Criminal Court of Cassation, led by Counselor Saleh Al-Muraishid, upheld the ruling of the Court of First Instance in the Municipal Council bribery case. The defendants, including a member of the council, a former employee of the municipality, and a merchant, have been found guilty.

The court has sentenced the first and second defendants to 10 years of imprisonment with hard labor, along with fines. Additionally, they have been dismissed from their positions. The third defendant has received a 5-year prison sentence with hard labor, as well as a fine. The case came to light when a company official reported receiving a call from a former municipality employee.

The employee offered to expedite transactions with the “Baladi” through one of its council members in exchange for money. Law enforcement authorities coordinated a plan to apprehend the individuals involved. During the investigation, the prosecution discovered a check and conversations related to another bribery incident on the member’s phone, implicating the merchant.

Despite denying knowledge of these incidents, the merchant was arrested, tried, and convicted for his involvement. Municipal legal sources anticipate that the Municipal Council will declare the vacant seat of the convicted member during its upcoming session on the 29th of this month. Subsequently, a by-election for the ninth district seat is expected to take place in February.

The Municipal Council is presently waiting to receive a letter from the Minister of Municipality regarding the issuance of a “discrimination” ruling from the Enforcement Department of the Ministry of Justice. This ruling is necessary to implement Article 13 of the Municipal Provisions Law, which outlines the procedures for filling a vacant council seat.

The law specifies that the council must announce the vacancy in its first session after it occurs. The seat should be filled either through elections or appointment within thirty days of the announcement. The newly appointed member will serve the remaining term of their predecessor, unless the vacant seats exceed five. If the remaining term is less than six months, the seat will not be filled.

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