Appeal Court Acquits Businessman Samih Rajab of Charge of Insulting Commerce Minister, Says “Right to Criticize Permissible by Law”
2018-01-19 - 7:23 p
Bahrain Mirror: The third major criminal court in Bahrain revoked a one-month prison term that was issued against businessman Samih Ibrahim Rajab for insulting the Minister of Industry and Commerce, acquitting him of libel and slander charges.
The court based its reasoning on the principle of the right of criticism and said that the accused businessman did not offend the person of the minister but rather criticized his work, adding that the right to criticize is permissible by law and Constitution, provided that the official's person is not insulted.
The businessman, a member of the General Assembly of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, posted tweets on his personal account, criticizing the performance of the Minister of Industry and Commerce in the chamber. The minister reported the published tweets, deeming them libel and slander.
The Public Prosecution assigned to Rajab that he assigned to the victim (the minister) facts that would make him a shop of contempt and punishment and that he threw him in disgrace and honor, and referred him to the first small criminal court, which issued its verdict on 13 October last month imprisonment of Samih Rajab for one month and fined 500 dinars , And estimated a thousand dinars to stop the execution of the sentence.
The Public Prosecution accused Rajab of attributing to the victim (the minister) accounts that would make him a target of contempt and punishment and insulting his honor and prestige. The Prosecution, hence, referred him to the first minor criminal court, which issued its verdict on October 13 of last month, sentencing Samih Rajab to one month in prison and fining him 500 dinars, and setting a 1,000-dinar payment for suspending the sentence.
Rajad appealed the sentence and the court decided to accept the appeal in form and substance by revoking the appealed sentence and acquitting him of the charges raised against him.
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