Kuwaiti court orders blogger released on bail
Kuwait City, June 28, 2010
A Kuwaiti court has ordered the release on bail of a blogger who was arrested on accusations of insulting the country's ruler, his lawyer said on Monday.
Blogger and journalist Mohammad Abdul-Kader Al-Jassem, a staunch critic of the government, was detained on May 11 after a complaint against him was issued by the office of Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
He will be freed after posting a bail of 2,000 dinars ($6,861), lawyer Jasser Al-Jidei said, adding his client faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted.
"A medical report (submitted to the court) said he was not in good health," Al-Jidei said, without elaborating. Jassem is known to have heart problems. He went on hunger strike after he was arrested but ended it over health concerns.
Kuwait's ruler is protected from criticism by the constitution. Many writers have been fined or imprisoned for defamation.
On his website, the blogger criticised the ruling Al-Sabah family and accused Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah of mismanagement and corruption.
In April, Jassem was sentenced to six months in prison for defaming the prime minister, a ruling he is appealing, and he faces two other cases in courts. - Reuters