Riyadh Criminal Court reverses verdict against journalist

Riyadh Criminal Court reverses verdict against journalist in defamation case

Riyadh Criminal Court reversed its earlier verdict convicting a journalist for defaming and insulting the Ministry of Health. And subsequently the Appeals Court in Riyadh upheld the criminal court’s decision.

The court earlier convicted the journalist and slapped him a fine of SR5,000. Besides, ordering the authorities to confiscate his mobile phone and suspend his Twitter account. The Ministry of Health earlier filed a complaint with the Public Prosecution; accusing the journalist of defaming and insulting the ministry. Besides, the services it provides, through a series of tweets.

The prosecution completed the investigation with the journalist and filed charges, including the defamation and insult with derogatory remarks against the Ministry of Health and its services to society, in addition to attempting to belittle the ministry’s efforts. The prosecution pleaded for awarding him stringent penalties, as well as to confiscate his mobile phone, and suspend his Twitter account.

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 being extended by the ministry. In later sessions, the Criminal Court decided to reverse its previous verdict and ruled not to convict the journalist. The Court of Appeal then upheld the latest ruling of the Criminal Court.