Court of Appeals presided over by Judge Hani Al- Hamdan upheld the verdict issued to imprison the Bangladeshi MP Muhammad Shahid Islam, former assistant undersecretary in the Ministry of Interior Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah, an official in the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) Hassan Al-Khodar, and former MP Salah Khorshid for seven years each, and the dismissal of Sheikh Mazen and Al-Khodar from their positions over “bribery and visa trading” charges. The court also decided to change the fine imposed on the main suspect – the Bangladeshi MP – to two million seven hundred and ten thousand dinars, and his deportation from the country after he serves his prison sentence.
The court also amended the fine imposed on Al-Khorshid to seven hundred and forty thousand dinars, and upheld the fine of one million and 970 thousand dinars imposed on Sheikh Mazen. The ruling also upheld the innocence of MP Saadoun Hamad on charges of abusing power and receiving bribes from the Bangladeshi MP in exchange for completing official transactions in state ministries. The court also upheld the three-year jail term imposed on two employees working in the company of the Bangladeshi MP.
According to the case files, the ninth defendant (Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah) agreed with the first defendant (the Bangladeshi MP) to exchange benefits, and asked him for money in exchange for issuing the needed security clearance for the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers, by abusing his office and authority, as well as to enable human trafficking in the country. Security sources explained that the senior official’s secretary admitted to receiving bribes in cash from the Bangladeshi MP.
The money was deposited in the bank account of a private company that he owns. The money was then cashed out using cheques issued in the name of the senior official so that there would not be any proof of a direct relationship between Sheikh Mazen and the Bangladeshi MP. The Public Prosecution Office confirmed the statements made by the secretary regarding the accounts and cheques. The sources revealed that Sheikh Mazen contributed to the issuance of 23,000 entry visas for Bangladeshis, and that he is said to have used his position to bypass an earlier decision that forbade the issuance of visas to citizens of Bangladesh, during his tenure in office.