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Saudi to allow further tapping of phones and monitoring of emails
December 12, 2013, 9:52 am

Saudi police will be allowed to tap phones and monitor emails for investigations for a maximum of 10 days under new laws to come into effect on Monday, it was reported.

The amended Criminal Procedure Law also limits the maximum period for detaining a suspect without trial to 180 days when they must either stand trial or be released.

The amendments are aimed at making judicial procedures more effective, open and transparent, the Saudi Gazette reported.

The changes were approved by King Abdullah last month, along with the new Shariah defense law and the procedures of the Board of Grievances as part of judicial reforms initiated a few years ago.

According to the new Criminal Procedure Law, it is illegal for security and investigative authorities to physically or mentally abuse detainees or humiliate them.

As well, an arrested person must be informed about the reasons for the arrest and should be allowed to contact any person to inform them.

The changes limit phone tapping and monitoring emails to investigations and for a maximum of 10 days. However, the period could be extended if it is mandatory for continuing the investigation, the Saudi Gazette said.

In other changes, any raid at a house must be carried out in the presence of the head of the family or his nominee or any grown up member of the family.

In their absence, the inspection shall be undertaken only with the presence of the district chief or his nominee or witnesses, the Gazette said.

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