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Saudi TV owner jailed for “disobeying ruler”

February 4, 2014

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A court sentenced a Saudi television presenter to 12 years in prison and banned him from appearing in the media after a judge found him guilty of disobeying the king and accusing its rulers of creating al-Qaida.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday that the Riyadh court found him also guilty of stirring sedition, undermining the nation’s prestige and its institutions, and slandering its reputation by accusing the kingdom of initiating terrorism and robbing citizens of their rights.

Other local media reported the man’s name as Wajdi al-Ghazzawi and said he is banned from travel abroad for 20 years after his sentence. He has the right to appeal.

Al-Ghazzawi is founder of Al-Fajr Media Group, which owns a religious satellite TV channel.

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