Fashion influencer Fatima Al-Momen has been found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison.
The 30-year-old fashion creator from Kuwait was involved in a fatal car crash in the early hours of 24 August. After speeding through a red light in Kuwait City, her vehicle collided with a car containing four passengers.
All of them were transported to hospital, where two – Walid Jassim Muhammad Al-Mutairi and Yousef Badr Al-Kaami – later died. At the time, some outlets reported three fatalities, but a source later told Al-Arabiya this was untrue.
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Initially imprisoned for ten days as a “precautionary measure”, Al-Momen’s request for bail was later denied by the Public Prosecution as she was indicted on ten charges: manslaughter, accidental injury, driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, speeding, passing a red light, reckless driving, driving with invalid insurance, driving without a vehicle licence, and damaging both public property and the property of others. However, her passenger – believed to be her boyfriend – was released.
Footage of the incident later leaked online, showing Al-Momen’s Bentley colliding with another car. While there were rumours that she was driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance, the same source told Al-Arabiya that lab reports proved this was not the case.
Guilty of manslaughter
On 25 October, the Kuwaiti Misdemeanour Court found Al-Momen guilty of manslaughter and multiple other charges, including running a red light and speeding, and sentenced her to three years in prison. The judge also ordered the withdrawal of her driving licence for one year.
Al-Momen is an architect turned influencer who currently boasts 2.3 million followers on Instagram. Comments were disabled on her Instagram shortly after the incident became public knowledge. Al-Momen’s two sisters and fellow content creators, Smood Al-Momen and Maryam Al-Momen, followed suit.
A lawyer by profession, the latter served as her sister’s attorney throughout the case. Early reports claimed Maryam Al-Momen had alleged the victims were harassing her sister before the incident, something she later denied. She also released a statement emphasising that at the time the incident was categorised as a misdemeanour and was unrelated to drug possession or usage.
By Chloe James, CORQ Middle East correspondent. Picture credit: Fatima Al-Momen via Instagram