Court acquits teacher charged with leaking final exam papers
The First High Criminal Court has acquitted a female public school teacher, who was facing trial for allegedly leaking the questions and answers of a final exam, earlier this year.
The acquittal came after it was proven in the court that the teacher wasn’t aware that the exam wasn’t conducted and that she immediately deleted it from the parents’ WhatsApp group to which she had forwarded them. As reported by Tribune earlier, the intermediate school teacher apparently took pictures of the final exam questions of the seventh grade and sent it using WhatsApp to some of her students and their parents before they underwent the exam.
According to Southern Governorate Chief Prosecutor Noor Shehab, Education Ministry discovered the matter and lodged a complaint to the Public Prosecution, which completed its investigation into the matter and referred the case to the criminal court. Ms Shehab confirmed that the prosecution interrogated the suspect, heard witnesses’ testimonies and viewed the evidence. The woman confessed to her crime after she was confronted with the evidence. The teacher was accused of divulging secrets, a crime that is subjected to the punishments mentioned in Article 371 of the Kingdom’s Penal Code.
Article 371 of the Penal Code stipulates: “A punishment of imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding BD100 shall be inflicted on a person who divulges a secret entrusted thereto in his official capacity trade, profession or art in conditions other than those prescribed by the law or uses it for his personal benefit or for the benefit of another person, unless the person concerned with the secret allows the divulgence or use thereof.”
However, the article stipulates that the punishment is severe in the case of public servants, similarly to the defendant who’s a teacher at a public school. “The punishment shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years if the perpetrator is a public servant or an officer entrusted with a public service to whom the secret has been confided during, because or by reason of performing his duties or service,” Article 371 states.