Lebanon's prominent newspaper, its editor sued for insulting Saudi king

Lebanon's prominent newspaper, its editor sued for insulting Saudi king

Lebanon's public prosecutor has filed a lawsuit against ad-Diyar newspaper and its owner and editor-in-chief Charles Ayoub on charges of insulting Saudi King Salman, the daily said on Sunday.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Lebanese public prosecutor's office has filed a lawsuit against the country’s distinguished Arabic-language daily newspaper ad-Diyar and its editor-in-chief Charles Ayoub on charges of insulting Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Beirut-based newspaper reported on Monday that the prosecution has demanded a one-year's jail term and a fine for Ayoub.

Ad-Diyar said Ayoub had compared the Saudi monarch to controversial medieval Sunni Muslim theologian Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, known as Ibn Taymiyyah for short, and described Saudi Arabia's Persian Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan as an “agent working for the Israeli regime.”

Ayoub's article was published during the political crisis between Beirut and Riyadh following Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation, which he announced in Saudi Arabia late last November.

Hariri returned to Beirut late on November 21, 2017. All political factions in Lebanon had called on him to return back home.

Top Lebanese officials and senior politicians close to Hariri had earlier said that he had been forced to resign, and that Saudi authorities were holding him captive.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun had also refused to accept Hariri's resignation.

Hariri announced his resignation in a televised statement on November 4, citing many reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision. He also said that he sensed a plot being hatched against his life.

The lawsuit against ad-Diyar and its editor-in-chief came only days after Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Ghada Aoun indicted Lebanese comedian Hicham Haddad after he mocked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on his "Lahon W Bass" TV show.

Aoun, which indicted Haddad upon the request of General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud, referred the case to Lebanon's Court of Publications.

During New Year's episode of his satire show, Haddad advised bin Salman to "eat less fast food."




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