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Lawyers to be frisked at Muscat courts

Video recording of hearing in activists’ case leaked

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya Bureau Chief
  • Published: 14:37 December 16, 2012
  • Gulf News

Muscat: A video recording of an Oman court hearing on YouTube has brought on strict frisking of those who enter Al Khuwair Muscat Court premises, including lawyers. Visitors to the court premises, including lawyers, are not permitted to carry mobile phones in Oman. However, so far lawyers were exempted from being frisked while entering a courtroom while all other visitors were frisked before being allowed inside.

Someone posted a video recording (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6JUCjvAeN4) of last Wednesday’s hearing at the Muscat Appeals Court of the case of 12 bloggers for insulting the Sultan.

So far the identity of the person who posted the video is not known but the legal fraternity believes that it could to be the handiwork of a lawyer.

“It is sad that the protocol has been breached,” Yaqoub Al Harthi, a primary court lawyer, told Gulf News.

He felt that frisking lawyers would be like belittling them. “It [frisking lawyers] also contravenes the law,” he added.

The video of the trial, in which the Appeals Court upheld the sentence for the 12 bloggers on charges of insulting the Sultan, is not very good quality but the audio quality is clear. It appears to be recorded from a mobile phone device.

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