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Appeals court acquits Jarallah in Barrak libel lawsuit PAYS ordered to pay sports club KD 1.8 mln comp

 KUWAIT CITY, May 5: The Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Nasr Salem, has overruled the ruling of the First Instance Court leading to the acquittal of Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Times and Al-Seyassah newspapers Ahmed Al-Jarallah who have been charged with defaming former MP Musallam Al-Barrak.

Al-Jarallah had been accused of publishing an article in Al-Seyassah daily on Nov 29, 2012 that contained false information and statements deemed offensive to Al- Barrak. The case was referred to the Court of First Instance on Dec 9, 2013 and the defendant was fined KD3,000 but he filed an appeal against the ruling. Lawyer for the accused, Attorney Mubarak Bader Al-Yaqoob, presented his argument and demanded for acquittal of his client. He pointed out the article was purely an expression of opinion on a certain issue and it did not tarnish the reputation of the plaintiff. He said it is the right of every media outfit to publish information based on the principle of highlighting and clarifying issues for the public as required in the field of journalism without violating the laws.

Meanwhile, the Appeals Court, chaired by Judge Jamal Ali, also acquitted Al-Jarallah of defaming Jamaan Al-Harbash who claimed the defendant had wrongly accused him of involvement with Zionists to instigate crisis and chaos. He also asked the court to demand for compensation of KD 5,001 from the defendant on his behalf. The higher court acquitted the defendant after a careful analysis of the arguments and pieces of evidence presented by both sides.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals upheld the verdict issued by the Court of First Instance, which ordered the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) to pay KD 1.8 million compensation to Al- Qadsiya Sports Club. The verdict was the fallout of a lawsuit instituted by the club against PAYS for violating the Constitution

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