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Dubai: The Riyadh Criminal Court reversed its earlier ruling convicting a journalist of defaming and insulting the Ministry of Health.

The court earlier convicted the journalist and slapped him with a fine of 5,000 riyals, and also ordered authorities to confiscate his mobile phone and suspend his Twitter account.

The ministry earlier filed a complaint with the Public Prosecution, accusing the journalist of defaming and insulting the ministry and its services in a series of tweets.

The prosecution completed the investigation with the journalist and filed charges, including defamation and insulting with derogatory remarks against the ministry and its services.

The journalist was also charged with attempting to belittle the ministry’s efforts.

The journalist pleaded to the court that he never intended to defame or offend any party or person but raised only constructive criticism, highlighting the shortcomings of some preventive services

In later sessions, the Criminal Court decided to reverse its previous verdict and ruled in the favour of the journalist. The latest ruling was then upheld by the Court of Appeal.