Thursday, 15 April 2010

'World's Greatest Newspaper' pays more libel damages

The Express has apologised and paid 'substantial' libel damages to:

four trustees of a UK charity after falsely claiming it had links to an al-Qaida commander.

The trustees of the Bolton-based Amanat Charity Trust, more commonly known as the Ummah Welfare Trust, sued for libel over a story published on the website in December 2009 headlined "Jet bomb ordered by 9/11 spirtual leader".

Here's how the Express reported the court defeat:

We apologised in the High Court today to the four Trustees of the the Ummah Welfare Trust, - Idris Atcha, Mohammed Idris, Zaker Patel and Muhammad Ahmad Seedat, a charity providing relief to developing countries.

The Court was told that an article appeared on this website from 27 December 2009 until 19 January 2010. The article wrongly alleged a link between the charity and Anwar al Awlaki, the Al Qaeda commander who is said to have been the spiritual leader of the 9/11 attacks and behind the Detroit aeroplane plot last year. The article also wrongly alleged that the charity accepted donations in order to advance terrorism and had connections to organisations with links to Hamas.

The Court heard that neither the charity nor its trustees have any connections with Anwar al Awlaki and do not support or condone his extremist views. All donations received by the charity are applied by the trustees entirely to charitable relief work and the charity nor its trustees have never funded nor had any links with Hamas or any other terrorist organisation.

We accepted that the allegations were false and apologised to the trustees.

Surely the (ahem) 'World's Greatest Newspaper' shouldn't be paying out libel damages quite so frequently?

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