3 royals jailed for insulting Amir, judiciary

KUWAIT: The criminal court yesterday sentenced five men, including three members of the Al-Sabah ruling family, to five years in jail each for allegedly insulting HH the Amir and accusing judges of bribery on Twitter and WhatsApp. The court also sentenced a sixth man to one year in jail, a seventh to 10 years in absentia and acquitted six more in the case locally known as “Fintas Group”.

The ruling family members include Sheikh Athbi Al-Fahd Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the former chief of the State Security Agency and the younger brother of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the former energy minister who currently holds several posts in international sports federations like FIFA, the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Olympic Committee.

They also include Sheikh Khalifa Al-Ali Al-Khalifa, the former editor-in-chief of Al-Watan newspaper and TV, which were both shut by the government last year for violating the financial requirements for commercial companies in the country. The men were charged of using the Internet to insult HH the Amir and accuse top judges of accepting bribes. They were also accused of spreading false news against the country. The sentences are not final as they can be challenged at the appeals court.

By B Izzak

This article was published on 30/05/2016