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.

    Kuwait papers suspended over coup plot story
    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.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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