Blogger rewords article after libel claim

A Bahraini blogger yesterday removed part of an article on his website, in which he criticised Municipalities and Agriculture Minister Mansoor Bin Rajab.

Mahmood Al Yousif told the GDN he agreed to take the action following several days of negotiations with a mediator.

Mr Rajab brought a libel case against the blogger, often referred to as the “Blogfather”, last week in relation to an article which was printed on his website on December 22.

Manama chief Public Prosecutor Wael Buallai is currently considering whether the case should be taken to court after he questioned Mr Al Yousif for three hours on Thursday, before releasing him on BD500 bail.

Mr Al Yousif, who has appointed a lawyer to fight the case, claimed the minister had agreed to drop the case if he removed the offending material.

“I have agreed to reword the article somewhat,” he said.

“But the content of the message has remained the same.

“The mediation between me and the minister seems to be positive, although nothing has been confirmed yet.”

The blogger was originally summoned to the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), Adliya, on Wednesday to answer questions about the article before the matter was transferred to the Public Prosecution.

It is understood Mr Al Yousif could be tried under the Press and Publications Law or the Penal Code, which if found guilty could lead to a maximum penalty of two years in jail and/or a BD200 fine.

A final decision from Mr Buallai is expected today.
GDN :: Geoffrey Bew :: 12 Feb, ’07

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