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Sentence against publisher in libel case upheld

Court says article contained erroneous information that harmed dignity of Al Midaj

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 14:24 February 21, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: The court of appeals in Kuwait has upheld a one-month jail sentence against the publisher of an online news site in a libel case.

Zayed Al Zayed was found guilty by the lower court of defaming Abdul Mohsin Al Midaj, a member of the Kuwait Investment Authority and a member of the political office of the Democratic National Coalition.

In his article Al Zayed criticised Al Midaj, a former lawmaker and a former minister, for holding a forum to defend public funds without referring to alleged issues at the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

In upholding the verdict, the court said that Al Zayed did not exercise his right to freedom of speech, but published erroneous information that harmed the dignity of Al Midaj.

Al Zayed’s lawyer said that his client criticised Al Midaj as a public figure and that he would appeal the verdict at the cassation court.

In two other cases, the criminal court postponed to March 7 the trial of a blogger, Saqer Al Hashash, on charges of undermining the status of the country’s emir.

The court also adjourned the trial of blogger Mohammad Khalid Al Ajmi for insulting the emir to March 14.

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