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Journalist sued for insult and libel by Saudi prince

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, September 23, 2010 - On 23 September 2010, the Agouza misdemeanors court decided to adjourn the insult and libel case against Egyptian journalist Ahmed Hosni to 11 November 2010.

The case was filed by the Saudi prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, owner of Rotana TV channels, and Waleed Arab Hashim, member of the Saudi Shoura council and the Rotana TV CEO. The case against Ahmed Hosni, a journalist with "Al-Shorouk" daily, is connected to his reporting on a communiqué filed against the prince and Hashim and it was adjourned upon the request of both ANHRI lawyers, who represent Hosni, and the prince's legal team.

On 29 November 2009, Hosni published a report titled, "Al-Waleed Bin Talal and his aid investigated for fraud in official documents". The report mentioned the communiqué submitted to the Prosecutor General from lawyer Tamer Ragi, requesting an inquiry into the fraud committed by Bin Talal and Hashim.

Although Hosni reported on the opinions of both parties and published precise, verified information based on the communiqué, Bin Talal criminally sued the journalist, disregarding the right of the public to information and news, which is a blow to press freedom from the prince who invests extensively in press and media.

ANHRI said, "Entrepreneurs can complain about how news about them is published. But suing a journalist in criminal court is a big mistake that makes the plaintiff an enemy of press freedom. Freedom of the press does not mean welcoming news about others and resenting the publication of news about oneself, knowing that the journalist has reported on a true incident that pertains to an important figure in the region's media".

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