A Shiite Muslim man has pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Prophet Mohammad, his wife Aisha as well as the Sunni-ruled Gulf states Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on the microblogging site Twitter, local media have reported.
Al-Naqi has always denied the charges claiming that his account must have been hacked.
The Kuwaiti judge adjourned the trial of Hamad Al-Naqi after he rejected his lawyer’s request to release him on bail. The 26-year-old has been detained since late March and will remain in custody until next week, when the trial resumes.
Mr Naqi faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, but Sunni activists have said he should be sentenced to death. The civil plaintiff expressed his wish to make an example of Al-Naqi.
The Kuwaiti Parliament recently passed an amendment to the penal code which condemns to a death sentence any person who curses God, Islam’s Prophet or his wives. However Naqi’s lawyer said the amendment should not affect his client as the law does not affect this case because it happened in the past.
The controversial court case has exacerbated sectarian tensions between the Sunni and Shiite communities in Kuwait. Shi'ite Muslims constitute about a third of the native population of 1.17 million.