Arab News – Lawyers are warning about an increase in leaked confidential government information, calling for penalyzing such crime and punishing it with an up to 20-year jail sentence, a SR1 million fine, or both.
Lawyers are also asking that top-secret documents be circulated in a narrow circle, and that all employees in all sectors be informed of the seriousness of leaking confidential information, which is a crime, and of the penalties meted out in case of guilt.
Lawyer Bandar Al-Bashri said Article 2 of the Penal Code regarding leaking confidential documents stipulates that any civil service of public employee who leaks confidential government documents or releases information even after the completion of service will be penalized as such acts can jeopardize the national security.
Also penalized will be those who aided and abetted such crime.
Al-Bashri said the duty of public sector employees is to ensure that no job secrets are disclosed and that national interests are protected. “We noticed in the recent past that many letters from government agencies have been leaked via social media, which has led to debates and chaos; these acts represent a betrayal of trust,” he said.
Lawyer Omar Al-Kholi said “leaking letters and official documents is a violation of the law and a betrayal of trust.”
He said penalties for leaking confidential information may be a jail term of up to 20 years, a fine of SR 1 million, or both.
“Some turn to such actions to impress others by showing that they possess confidential information, or to harm their employer or some specific people,” he added.

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