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Unauthorized search voids arrest: court

KUWAIT: The criminal court said searches by policemen at checkpoints beyond normal limits is illegal. The court said precautionary searches by policemen should not progress to other things without justification, and any violation will be considered null without a warrant from the prosecution.

The appeals court upheld a ruling of the court of first instance which exonerated an Egyptian, saying that just because a suspect is walking in the street does not say a thing about the officer’s knowledge about the existence of a charge that justifies stopping and searching him as a precaution, as the officer had said.

The court said the purpose behind the precautionary search is to make it easier to arrest the suspect, to take away what he may be carrying in the form of weapons or other things that may help him escape, and the policeman should not go beyond that to further searches, otherwise the search will be illegal and all evidence taken from that search will be thrown out. – Al-Jarida

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