A Bahraini court has banned six employees of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Alarab satellite channel from leaving the country, over claims of unsettled debts, Saudi daily Arab News has reported.
The employees included a Saudi broadcaster and five other Arab nationals, the daily said.
They reportedly took out bank loans when they began working for Alarab but had been unable to make repayments since the network was forcibly turned off a day after launching on February 1, after it aired an interview with a spokesman from the political opposition group Al Wefaq.
The bank, which was not identified, filed a lawsuit against the clients earlier this month.
The bank’s lawyer, Osama Anwar, reportedly told local media a travel ban was necessary because the employees were expected to leave Bahrain at any time as the network was not due to re-start in the kingdom.
The Saudi broadcaster reportedly told media he owed SAR480,000 ($128,000) to the bank.
He claimed a court order may also be made setting a deadline to repay the loan.
Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority shutdown the station within hours of it launching on the basis that it failed “to match the standards of regional and international practice agreements, to take account of efforts aimed at stemming the tide of extremism and terrorism throughout the region and the world”.
The station’s general manager Jamal Khashoggi told Arabian Business last month Alarab would re-launch but it was yet to be decided where and when.
Khashoggi has been contacted for comment.