Exam Paper Leak Verdict Overturned; Syrian and Kuwaiti Engineers Escape Following Appeal

Recently, a citizen engineer working for the Ministry of Electricity and a Syrian expat were found not guilty in a case where social networking sites leaked high school exams. This overturned the engineer’s previous 10-year conviction and fine of 241,000 dinars. The Court of Appeal was chaired by Counselor Nasr Salem Al-Heid.

The citizen engineer was first charged by the Public Prosecution with leaking Ministry of Education secrets by sharing high school examinations on social media that included the right answers. This information was purportedly obtained by the Syrian expat, who was identified as one of the fraud’s beneficiaries, for a payment of more than 241,000 dinars. Money laundering charges were added against both defendants. The results of the investigation revealed that the accused persons charged between 25 and 50 dinars per topic for the rectified examinations.

The two had previously been fined 241,000 dinars and given a 10-year prison sentence by the Criminal Court. The Syrian expat was also scheduled for deportation following the completion of the sentence. But in the course of the appeals process, the accused denied the charges and, via counsel, asked for leniency and an acquittal.

In a recent development, the Court of Appeal reserved decision despite the appeal court’s rejection to halt the defendants’ release and the sentence’s execution. The defendants were subsequently found not guilty by the court, which cited insufficient and irrational evidence as well as the inapplicability of the allegations pertaining to test leaks and secret disclosure. The court emphasized that after the committees’ distribution process, students obtained the compromised examinations from anonymous sources. It was also highlighted that the main accused, the citizen engineer, is an engineer by degree and gives university students private instruction. It was found that these educational sessions were connected to the cash that were taken from the accused.

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