[JURIST] A court in Kuwait [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] has sentenced to death a member of the country's ruling family for drug trafficking offenses, saying the defendant "deserved no mercy." It is unknown how closely Sheik Talal Nasser Al Sabah is related to the head of the Kuwaiti royal family [Wikipedia backgrounder], but Sunday's verdict marks the first known occurrence of a ruling family member in a Gulf Arab country being given a death sentence for drug-related charges. A search of Sheik Talal's home revealed cocaine, hashish, and materials commonly used to ready drugs for sale.
Sheik Talal also received a $35,000 fine for drug trafficking, three years of jail time for illegally possessing firearms, and a $3 million fine and seven years in prison for money laundering. He allegedly laundered nearly $3 million in drug money by investing in properties located in the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon [JURIST news archive]. Sheik Talal's death sentence may be appealed. AP has more. From Kuwait, the Arab Times has local coverage.