Kuwaiti Ambassador ‘bilks Insider of 10,000 Euros’

The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Italy, H.E.Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.Photo credit: Esma Çakır for Italian Insider

 ROME – The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Italy, Sheikh Ali Khaled Al Jaber Al Sabah, has bilked the Italian Insider out of 10,000 euros owed for work the diplomat commissioned from the newspaper, repeatedly refusing to pay his debt despite persistent requests by the newspaper’s owner and mediation efforts by the Italian Foreign Ministry, lawyers for Italian Insider say.

 The Ambassador, a member of the Kuwaiti Royal family, in September 2014 commissioned from Italian Insider Editor-in-chief John Phillips in a special report to be published by the newspaper consisting of a series of articles on ties between Italy and Kuwait to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Italian Insider journalists researched and wrote the articles, including an exclusive interview with future italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and laid out the Special Report ready for printing.

 When, however, the Italian Insider asked for payment of the agreed fee of 10,000 euros , Sheikh Al Jaber Al Sabah declined to pay. The Italian Insider instructed a lawyer to pursue the request for payment for the work carried out, and she spoke to a lawyer for the Kuwaiti Embassy which still refused to pay.

 The lawyer for the Kuwaiti Embassy acknowledged to his Italian colleague that the Ambassador owed the money to the Italian Insider and that the Insider would win if the newspaper took the Embassy to court. But he said the Embassy still would not pay because it knew that the Italian Insider could not enforce a judgement against the Embassy since the Italian Government recently gave Embassy bank accounts immunity from legal proceedings.

The Italian Foreign Ministry repeatedly has sought to mediate with the Kuwaiti Embassy at the request of the Italian Insider to seek a solution to the affair but the Embassy takes no notice.

 Editor John Phillips said “The Italian Insider regrets this unfair behaviour by the Kuwaiti Ambassador, which means that the journalists and graphic editor who carried out the work he asked us to do for him have not been paid for their labour, even though we published all the articles as promised.”

 Italian Insider will pursue the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait until it obtains satisfaction plus legal interest and reimbursement of legal fees.