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Kuwait papers suspended over coup plot story

Al Watan and Alam Al Yawm newspapers ordered to stop printing for weeks after violating media blackout of investigation.

Last updated: 20 Apr 2014 22:29
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Kuwaiti prosecutors have ordered that a probe into an alleged coup plot be held in secret [Reuters]

A Kuwaiti court has temporarily suspended the publication of two independent newspapers over articles about a secret probe into allegations of a coup plot to overthrow the Gulf monarchy's government, the official state news agency reported.

KUNA issued a statement on Sunday by the Information Ministry saying it notified Al Watan and Alam Al Yawm newspapers of the suspension because they had violated a prosecutor-ordered media blackout of the investigation.

According to the ministry, a judge ordered the newspapers to stop printing for two weeks.

The deputy editor-in-chief at Al Watan, Waleed al-Jassim, said his newspaper regretted the decision and planned to contest the ruling.

Two television stations owned by Al Watan have been closed in compliance with the ban as well, al-Jassim said. Both stations were off the air late Sunday.

Al-Jassim said the newspaper's website will stay online because it falls under a different jurisdiction.

Kuwait prides itself on having the Gulf's most free-wheeling political system and a vibrant press, but denouncing the Western-backed emir is illegal.

The Kuwaiti prosecutor's office earlier this month ordered that a probe into the videotape be held in secret and called for a media blackout of the investigation.

The tape purportedly contains allegations of a plot to topple the ruling system led by the emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

Public Prosecutor Dherar al-Asousi has said the media blackout is necessary to preserve the public interest.

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