|03KUWAIT1273||2003-04-06 11:39:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Kuwait|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001273
1. (SBU) The following is an update on judicial actions taken
against those involved in the January 21 terrorist attack on
U.S. citizens near Camp Doha. The GOK moved quickly to
apprehend the gunman and other suspects, however two
accessories remain at large and the Kuwaitis have had little
success in locating them. The wheels of justice in Kuwait
sometimes spin slowly; the trial has already been postponed
from March 12 to April 2, and again from April 2 to April 7.
PRIME SUSPECT: SAMI AL-MUTAIRI
2. (U) Sami Al-Mutairi faces charges of felony murder and
attempted murder (as well as a variety of weapons charges) as
a result of the January 21, 2003 shooting of two American DoD
contractors, Michael Rene Pouliot and David Caraway. Pouliot
and Caraway were shot in their vehicle as they sat at a red
light near Camp Doha; Pouliot was killed instantly while
Caraway sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Pouliot and
Caraway were employees of Tapestry Solutions, a San Diego
based defense contractor involved in the development of
software applications used in military training.
3. (SBU) Al-Mutairi attempted to flee to Saudi Arabia, but
was apprehended at a Saudi border checkpoint on January 22.
He confessed twice while in Saudi custody and was turned over
to Kuwait State Security (KSS) later that morning, at which
time he offered a third confession. Al-Mutairi was a social
worker employed by the GOK at the time of the shooting. A
known Islamic extremist, his passport was seized in late 2001
by KSS after he made an unsuccessful attempt to travel to
Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban. Arrested in Iran,
Al-Mutairi (and other young Kuwaitis) spent two months in
jail there before being deported back to Kuwait. At his
first hearing on February 2, Al-Mutairi recanted, claiming
his confessions were coerced. He was held pending further
investigation, and remains in custody today. Al-Mutairi's
trial was first scheduled to begin March 12, but was
postponed at that time until April 2. The trial opened
briefly on April 2 before being postponed again until April 7.
4. (U) Sami al-Mutairi is being charged with felony murder
and attempted murder. It is likely his trial could last for
one year; the trial begins when the public prosecutor files
the indictment with the competent criminal court and ends
when a judgement is rendered by the Court of First Instance.
Once a criminal judgement is rendered, either the prosecutor
or the defendant can appeal the decision to the Court of
Appeals. At both the Court of First Instance and the Court
of Appeals, a panel of three judges will hear the case; there
is no trial by jury in Kuwait. If the Court of First
Instance returns a guilty verdict and imposes the death
penalty, the case will automatically be heard again by the
Court of Appeals. The appellate process is likely to last
one year before a final and enforceable judgement is
rendered. If the death penalty is ordered, the judgement
cannot be carried out without the endorsement of the Amir,
who has the discretion to pardon the defendant or to commute
5. (SBU) Abdullah Amr Al-Utaybi trained Al-Mutairi in the
operation of the AK-47 used in the attack. According to
Al-Mutairi's confession, after the attack, he invited himself
to Al-Utaybi's farm where he revealed his involvement in the
shooting. Al-Utaybi praised Al-Mutairi for the attack and
agreed to help him escape into Saudi Arabia. Employed by
Arab Oil Company, Al-Utaybi crossed the border on his company
ID after dropping Al-Mutairi off at the Kuwaiti border
checkpoint. He planned to meet Al-Mutairi at a gas station
on the Saudi side of the border, but Al-Mutairi was detained
by Saudi police before reaching the rendezvous point. KSS
believes Al-Utaybi is hiding in Saudi Arabia, and is working
with the Saudis to find and extradite him for questioning
regarding his involvement in the shooting.
6. (SBU) Badi Kruz Al-Ajami was arrested by KSS for
transferring the AK-47 which Al-Mutairi used in the attack.
Kruz is a known Islamic extremist with a criminal history; he
was arrested in 2000 for attacking a Kuwaiti female whose
face was uncovered, and served time for involvement with the
Muhammed Al-Dusari terrorist case from November 2000. He
remains in custody at this time pending further investigation.
7. (SBU) Rajih Hassan Al-Ajami is charged with transporting
the AK-47 from Kruz to Al-Mutairi. His current location is
unknown,but he is believed to have possibly fled Kuwait.
8. (SBU) Khalifa Al-Dihani was arrested for selling 700
rounds of ammunition to Al-Mutairi. He remains in custody
pending further investigation.
9. (U) In Kuwait, the victim of a crime (or his heirs) are
entitled to claim civil compensation before the criminal
court which is handling the case. The civil claimant is
entitled to representation during the trial and may appeal
the civil judgement. The criminal court has the discretion
to postpone the civil component of the trial until after
sentencing if it determines the simultaneous consideration of
both criminal and civil components will delay disposition of
the criminal element. If the Amir chooses to pardon the
defendant or to commute his sentence, that will have no
bearing on the civil element of the case and will not prevent
payment of compensation to the victim (or his heirs).
10. (C) Both Tapestry Solutions and David Caraway have
contacted post to indicate their desire to seek compensation,
and both have retained local counsel to pursue their claims.
11. (C) Since the shooting on January 21, post has been
actively involved in this case. An FBI team arrived in
Kuwait on January 24, and remains in country participating in
the investigation. The team is in regular contact with KSS
and the public prosecutors, underlining U.S. determination to
see those responsible for this attack punished. ConOff
maintains close contact with David Caraway, Tapestry
Solutions, and Michael Pouliot's widow Carol, and furnishes
regular updates on the progress of the investigation.
Although the Kuwaitis are eager to see Sami Al-Mutairi held
accountable for the shooting, progress in arresting
accessories has been limited and the final disposition of the
case cannot be predicted. Post will continue to closely
monitor this case and keep up the pressure on Kuwait and
bring all those involved in this attack to justice.