(Photo credits:Â Geff Rossi)
Omani Arabic newspaper “Azzamn” reported today a recent online defamation decision by the Elementary Court to imprison a person for posting on an Â online discussion forum claiming that the victim, a policeman, tortured to death a theft suspect.
Medical evidence was used in the case to prove that the death of the deceased theft suspect was natural. It was also noted that the defendant had previous arguments with the victim as the brother of the defendant was held in the same centre for the same theft case for which the deceased theft suspect was being held. Azzamn says that the defendant wrote what he did to get back to the policeman who refused one of the visits to his brother.
The court held that the defendant was guilty for two offences, the first under section 173 of the Criminal Law for insulting an employee while carrying out his employment duties or insulting him on the basis of the performance of his employment duties. The second offence was made under section 182(2) for claiming that another person is guilty of a crime for which he knows he is innocent or for which he fabricated evidence for the creation of such crime.Â
The court decided to sentence the defendant to a one-month imprisonment for the crime of false-incrimination under section 182(2) and 15-days for the crime of insult under section 173.
This is an interesting case because it shows us that there is more than one ground for establishing defamation, if what you post constitutes a false-incrimination under section 182 then you would be liable for an additional Â penalty that is greater than the penalty for a regular insult.
Link to Azzamn Article (Half way through the page – Arabic only).
Link to another recent Omani online defamation case.