Septuagenarian gets jail, fine in ‘defamation’ case – Bear expenses, mom told

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 2: The Court of Appeals (Appeals Minor Circuit/4), headed by Judge Mesha’al Al-Mutaw’a with Judge Ahmed Al-Sharif and Judge Nawaf Al-Zu’abi as members, upheld the verdict of a lower court which sentenced Fuad Al-Refaei to three years in prison and fined him KD 400 for defaming a woman by publishing her photos on social media platforms without her permission.

However, the higher court decided to suspend implementation of the sentence for three years starting from the date of its issuance in consideration of Al-Refaei’s age – more than 70 years old.

The court then obligated the accused to sign a pledge of good conduct and allowed him to post bail of KD 2,000.

The higher court also upheld the decision obliging the accused to delete the pictures and video clips he uploaded on his Twitter and Instagram accounts (@wathakkir and @wathakkir Fuadalrefaei).

Case files indicate that on Feb 12, 2016, the Public Prosecution charged Al-Refaei with offending a woman when he used his mobile phone to take her pictures and shared these pictures on his social media accounts without her permission.

Attorney Professor Jassem Al-Ya’aqoub, who represented the victim in court, presented several pieces of evidence.

The court affirmed that the pieces of evidence were enough to prove the accusations, pointing out that the accused violated Article 70 of Law No. 37/2014 on the establishment of the Public Authority for Communication and Information Technology, Articles 6/01 and 6/17 of Law No. 63/2015 on combating information technology crimes, Articles 21/8, 23/2 of Law No. 3/2006 on printing and publication, and Article 172 of the Procedures Code.

The court explained that since the committed crimes are related and cannot be separated, the harshest penalty was imposed on the accused.

Mom to bear expenses: In a striking decision, the Family Court declared a father is not obliged to put his children in an American, British or any other private school.

The court maintained the issue is not regulated by laws of the country and stressed the State offers free public education to all citizens regardless of the financial status of the father; rich or poor.

Case files indicate a Kuwaiti woman (plaintiff) sued her ex-husband — father of their two children, asking the court to oblige the man to pay KD 816 in school fees and additional educational expenses for their children attending a private school. She claimed the ex-husband is rich and can bear the cost of their children’s education in private school.

Defending the ex-husband, Lawyer Freih Al-Kouh handed to court documents, including a request for transfer of the children from private school to public school due to difficulty in sustaining the financial obligation.

She also presented copy of a verdict issued by the Court of Appeals stating private school the children attend constitutes financial burden on the father, indicating private education is a luxury the man can’t afford.

The defense lawyer thereby requested dismissal of the lawsuit and the court responded positively saying the State offers free education to all citizens, and the fact that the mother was the one who registered the children in private school after winning their guardianship, she is responsible for all expenses as long as they remain in private school.

Lawyer hearing today: The Misdemeanor Court will Thursday commence hearing in a lawsuit filed by the State Security Department against Lawyer Hani Hussein accusing the latter of spreading fake news.

Public Prosecution Department earlier ordered the defendant to be remanded at the Central Prison for 21 days to allow for thorough investigation on allegations of spreading news via his Twitter page concerning “A Bangladeshi doctor who forged Kuwait citizenship”.



By Jaber Al-Hamoud

Al-Seyassah Staff



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