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Kuwaiti Defense Lawyer Complains He Cannot See Clients

June 5, 1991

KUWAIT CITY (AP) _ Defense attorney Najeeb al-Wuqayan told martial law judges Tuesday that he was fed up with not being able to meet with his clients charged with collaborating with Iraq’s occupation forces.

″I can’t take this any more 3/8″ he said. ″The world will not forgive us for what is happening.″

Wuqayan told reporters he hadn’t been able to see any of 25 defendants because of delays and obstacles set by authorities.

No immediate reaction came from Judge Mohammed al-Mutairi, presiding over the panel of three civilian and two military judges. After a hearing Tuesday, the judge postponed further trials for at least five days.

One Wuqayan client, Latif Saber, was accused of raping women from the ruling Al-Sabah family, of joining the Iraqi people’s army and stealing cars.

Saber, a Kuwaiti army employee before the invasion, is one of 16 stateless men who are charged. A total of 300 people are expected to be charged with collaborating with the Iraqis after the Aug. 2 invasion.

More than 150 have appeared in court since trials began May 19. No verdicts have been handed down. Conviction could mean death by hanging.

On Tuesday, defendant Hlais al-Khalidi told the judge he confessed and implicated innocent people because he was beaten when arrested - a frequent claim by the defendants.

Fitna Jaber, an elderly Kuwaiti woman of Iraqi origin, denied turning her house into a brothel for Iraqi soldiers, but said she cooked lunch for family members who were with the Iraqi army.

″The occupation was no time for parties, it was a time of horror,″ she said when a judge asked her if she held parties for Iraqi soldiers.

Two young stateless people confessed to stealing food from a supermarket and another to forging a driver’s license.

″I stole milk, cheese and a clock,″ said 16-year-old Saad Obeid. ″Everybody was doing it.″

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