Kuwait detains MP over threats to Syrian envoy

DVBP849 4 JPW 0287 KWT /AFP-VC23 Syria-politics-unrest-Kuwait-justice Kuwait detains MP over threats to Syrian envoy KUWAIT CITY, Aug 21, 2011 (AFP) - Kuwait's public prosecution Sunday detained Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef for refusing to pay bail after questioning him over alleged threats to the Syrian ambassador, his lawyer said. Hayef was summoned for interrogation after telling crowds at a rally against the Syrian regime two weeks ago that they should seek a fatwa, or a religious ruling, to establish if the Syrian ambassador can be killed. Prosecutors questioned Hayef on accusations that he threatened the life of the Syrian envoy and for making remarks harmful to Kuwait's interests, lawyer Adel Abdulhadi told AFP. The lawmaker denied the charges. Following the questioning that continued for several hours and ended at dawn Sunday, prosecutors ordered Hayef to pay a bail of 2,000 dinars ($7,350) to be released pending further questioning, Abdulhadi said. The lawmaker refused to pay and prosecutors ordered his detention. Abdulhadi said that a crowd of around 300 supporters of Hayef gathered at the police centre where Hayef is held and demanded his immediate release. The lawyer expected parliament speaker Jassem al-Khorafi to intervene in the issue to find a solution that would secure Hayef's release. Under Kuwaiti law, MPs enjoy immunity that shield them against arrest or questioning as long as parliament is in session, but the house is currently in summer recess until late October. Kuwaitis held a number of rallies in support of pro-democracy protests in Syria and called for the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador from the oil-rich Gulf state. oh/ak/hkb AFP 210931 GMT AUG 11