Jail for Arab national for blackmailing young woman on social media  

December 09, 2020

Okaz/Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH — The Makkah Criminal Court sentenced an Arab national to one and a half years of imprisonment after his conviction in cybercrimes committed against a young woman.

The court, which held a virtual session, ordered to confiscate all his mobile devices, which were used in the crimes that included impersonating a young woman, creating fake accounts, publishing her photos, and blackmailing her with threats to make her photos public.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned that the woman in her 30s lodged a lawsuit with the concerned security authorities complaining that an unknown person impersonated her and published her photos after creating fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The security authorities tracked down the fake accounts and arrested the accused. They confiscated his mobile devices containing pictures, voice messages, and accounts impersonating the woman.

The security officials also detected other fake voice messages and social media accounts using the names of other citizens. The case was then handed over to the Public Prosecution, which in turn monitored the misconducts of the accused with young working women through holding romantic conversations.

The Public Prosecution has recorded dozens of text and voice messages incriminating the accused in defamation and extortion crimes and the creation of fake accounts. Subsequently, it ordered his imprisonment, granting him statutory rights to seek the assistance of a lawyer.

During the interrogation, the accused confessed that he knew the young woman complainant through social media and that he established a relationship with her electronically for a month and obtained her photos, and then disassociated with her. However, he denied creating accounts in her name or publishing her photos. After holding a series of sessions in which the court listened to testimonies of all the parties involved and examined the evidence before coming to the conclusion that the accused was guilty of the crimes attributed to him.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, lawyer Masarah Hani Fetyani said that the cybercrime law aims to protect the public interest, morality, public etiquette, the national economy, as well as protecting personal and public rights. She said that some cybercrimes overlap with other crimes such as extortion, defamation, insult, and slander, and the courts examine them on the basis of various provisions of the criminal procedure law.

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