Checking out or going through the phone of your spouse without her or his consent due to the fact that you might suspect them of some indiscretion could cost you dearly. Now, this act will cost you a monetary fine of SAR 500,000, a jail term of 1 year or even both. This news comes in accordance to Khaled Al Babatain, a lawyer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Babatain stated to a local publication in the Kingdom that the literal definition of the crime of spying under the current laws also includes eavesdropping and/or accessing any information electronically.[irp]
Al Babatain also stated that the same exact penalties would also be applicable if somebody tries to access any of the photographs or information for the purposes of extortion and blackmail. He added that this is also applicable to the wives, husbands and other members of the same family. Al Babatain clarified however that the case of online defamation is considered a separate offense under the eyes of the law. Ibrahim Al Zamzai, a lawyer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has stated that there is a major difference between the simple act of looking at the phone of your house and acquiring any information via electronic means. The former act is to be considered an offense and a judge can put a punishment on that upon his own discretion, however, the latter act is considered to be straight forwards spying.
A former judge in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Nasr Al-Yamani has stated that the act of spying on your spouse has been clearly forbidden in Islam. However, the judges have certain discretion, especially in those cases where a woman will apply for annulment of her marriage to her husband through claims that she has concrete evidence of the infidelity of the husband. We asked the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as to what they thought about the issue and the responses were as mixed as the ones from the lawyers and the former judge provided above.
Some people said that they believe that in general, any form of medium or recording which is used without any consent of those who are being recorded is not to be admissible in the legal courts. None the less, the consequences which are written above are very much legal and applicable upon the discretion of the judge. There were, however, some people who did not think that such a hefty fine or jail term is not true. These people thought that the act of spying is to have different levels or categories ranging from serious to non-serious. One person stated that the act of spying on your spouse cannot possibly be treated the same way under the law as spying on your country.[irp]
People also asked us a question. How many incidents have you heard of where any man or woman has brought forward evidence of infidelity and the judge has charged him with spying and ordered them to pay up half a million Saudi Riyals?
Source: Arab News