Finally, the Public Prosecutor has spoken about the news blackout on the case of the six detainees. But he still hasn't made any attempt to explain why there is a need to impose a press ban. He may not be under any legal obligation to do so, but I hope the Press keeps pushing him on this until we get a proper answer. As I mentioned before, the threat of terrorism is very real so it is all the more important that we hold fast to principles now. Otherwise, expect to hear many conspiracy theories on the streets in the coming days.
Here is the report from the GDN:
MANAMA: The Public Prosecutor yesterday denied he should have referred to the judiciary an order banning publication of stories about the six terror plot suspects who have been re-arrested.
Shaikh Abdul Rahman bin Jabor Al Khalifa said he was under no obligation to give reasons to the judiciary for his order.
He also rejected a suggestion published in an Arabic language newspaper yesterday that his banning order should have been referred to parliament for debate.
The Public Prosecutor said that under the terms of the law, his duties formed an integral part of those of the judiciary. His role was also that of an investigative authority concerned with crimes and accusations.
Shaikh Abdul Rahman said the constitution guaranteed freedom of the Press, publication and circulation, other than in cases where investigations being conducted by the judiciary or the Public Prosecutor could be adversely affected.
He added that the law had not granted the courts special authority to overrule banning orders issued by the Public Prosecutor.
Shaikh Abdul Rahman said neither was it true, as suggested in a local newspaper, that the Public Prosecutor's publicity ban should be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.
He said that while the constitution specified the separation of powers of the legislative, executive and judiciary authorities, this stipulation was based on their right to collaborate with each other.
Shaikh Abdul Rahman said the order banning publicity was adopted only after a thorough study of the case. He added that the ban was in the public interest and would preserve the rights of the six suspects.