Bahrain newspaper faces lawsuit over insult
Manama, April 30, 2014
Legal action has been taken against an Arabic newspaper in Bahrain for insulting comments made against a top government official.
Minister of State for Information Affairs and the government's official spokeswoman Sameera Rajab has filed a complaint at the Public Prosecution against the daily, it was revealed during yesterday's parliament session, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
MPs earlier launched a probe into accusations, made by the daily, that last month's fire in a building belonging to the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) was part of a conspiracy theory against Bahrain.
However, Minister of State for Parliament and Shura Council Affairs Abdulaziz Al Fadhel told MPs their probe cannot continue as the matter is being handled by prosecutors.
"The government has completed its investigation based on a request by Ms Rajab and findings will be revealed within the next few days," he said. "A case has been filed against the newspaper for liability by Ms Rajab."
However, parliament decided to name seven MPs to carry out the probe until it receives an official letter from the government about the Public Prosecution's investigation.
"If our scope of work doesn't contradict that of the Public Prosecution then our probe will start, if it does we will take a new decision," said parliament first vice-chairman Abdulla Al Dossary.
The fire broke out on March 24 and caused damage worth around BD150,000 ($396,000).
Arabic daily Al Ayam claimed the building that caught fire was abandoned, lacked basic safety and security equipment and questioned the recruitment of an adviser who it claimed was former chief executive at Hizbollah-backed channel Al Manar.
It also criticised the company chosen by the IAA to operate a private channel in the building. It also published details of the Lebanese owner of the media company recruited by the IAA and showed a picture of him during an interview on Al Manar where he discussed his new project in Bahrain. – TradeArabia News Service