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Subverting the first ammendment using foreign courts.

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,252
476
126
Court: State law won't protect terror author from libel judgment

Local
Court: State law won't protect terror author from libel judgment
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, The Associated Press
2007-12-20 23:39:52.0
Current rank: # 5,876 of 6,075

ALBANY, N.Y. -
New York's highest court decided Thursday a state law can't help a Manhattan author block a libel verdict brought against her in London by a Saudi billionaire over her book "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed - and How to Stop It."

The unanimous decision interpreting a New York law now goes to a federal court. There, author Rachel Ehrenfeld has sought to combat what her attorney argued was a chilling effect on free speech by the billionaire, Khalid Salim A. Bin Mahfouz. The Saudi businessman has sued more than two dozen times over writings on terrorism and those who fund it, including Ehrenfeld's 2003 book.

"The chill continues," said Ehrenfeld's attorney, Daniel Kornstein of Manhattan.

Kornstein said the businessman hasn't tried to collect on his judgment, which includes an apology and a halt on book sales. But he said the London court verdict is a threat to authors.

"That's the danger and the risk and the problem that we tried to stress," Kornstein said. "It creates a sword of Damocles that prohibits authors and publishers - and readers can't read about it."

New York's Court of Appeals had been asked by a federal court if the state's "long-arm" law could apply to the case. But the state court found the law, which establishes jurisdiction for almost anyone who does business in New York, doesn't apply to this case.

"We are pleased that the New York Court of Appeals has today issued an opinion finding that Mr. Bin Mahfouz is not subject to jurisdiction in New York, thereby effectively ending Dr. Ehrenfeld's misuse of U.S. courts to attack the very appropriate and necessary judgment entered by the English court in favor of Mr. Bin Mahfouz and his family," said Mahfouz's attorney, Timothy Finn.

Mahfouz sued Ehrenfeld for libel in the High Court of Justice in London, although Ehrenfeld didn't appear or acknowledge the court's jurisdiction in the 2005 case. A default judgment requires her to declare her writings about Mahfouz to be false, publish a correction and apology, and stop further publication of the disputed statements in Britain.

In U.S. Circuit court, Ehrenfeld sought to declare the British decision unenforceable in the United States. The suit claims that Mahfouz chose to sue Ehrenfeld in England because its libel laws favor plaintiffs. Ehrenfeld's attorney said Mahfouz was engaging in a kind of "libel tourism."

Mahfouz had defended the choice of venue, saying 23 copies of the book had been purchased in England over the Internet and a chapter of the book was available from the ABCnews.com Web site.

Ehrenfeld's book said Mahfouz "and his family have provided direct and indirect monetary support to al-Qaida and other `Islamist terror groups,'" according to the state court record

This is one to watch, who would have thought to use foreign courts to subvert the first ammendment, why not just ban the sale of the book?


 

Noobtastic

Banned
Jul 9, 2005
3,721
0
0
Geez, oppressing their own country obviously isn't enough.

Must rid the world of those who expose true muslim society!

The author should feel lucky she hasn't been assassinated....yet.



 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,586
11
76
Uh... couldn't you just not pay them the money? WTF is an English court going to do to you?
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,252
476
126
Originally posted by: Nebor
Uh... couldn't you just not pay them the money? WTF is an English court going to do to you?
The problem with that is the US goes after people in other countries for violations of its laws there like in Britain, now they can demand the same and we all lose.


US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

David Leppard
AMERICA has told Britain that it can ?kidnap? British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the ?extraordinary rendition? of terrorist suspects.

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

The US government?s view emerged during a hearing involving Stanley Tollman, a former director of Chelsea football club and a friend of Baroness Thatcher, and his wife Beatrice.

The Tollmans, who control the Red Carnation hotel group and are resident in London, are wanted in America for bank fraud and tax evasion. They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

During a hearing last month Lord Justice Moses, one of the Court of Appeal judges, asked Alun Jones QC, representing the US government, about its treatment of Gavin, Tollman?s nephew. Gavin Tollman was the subject of an attempted abduction during a visit to Canada in 2005.

Jones replied that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offences in America. ?The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,? he said.

He said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: ?If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse ? it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.?

Mr Justice Ouseley, a second judge, challenged Jones to be ?honest about [his] position?.

Jones replied: ?That is United States law.?

He cited the case of Humberto Alvarez Machain, a suspect who was abducted by the US government at his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1990. He was flown by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Texas for criminal prosecution.

Although there was an extradition treaty in place between America and Mexico at the time ? as there currently is between the United States and Britain ? the Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that the Mexican had no legal remedy because of his abduction.

In 2005, Gavin Tollman, the head of Trafalgar Tours, a holiday company, had arrived in Toronto by plane when he was arrested by Canadian immigration authorities.

An American prosecutor, who had tried and failed to extradite him from Britain, persuaded Canadian officials to detain him. He wanted the Canadians to drive Tollman to the border to be handed over. Tollman was escorted in handcuffs from the aircraft in Toronto, taken to prison and held for 10 days.

A Canadian judge ordered his release, ruling that the US Justice Department had set a ?sinister trap? and wrongly bypassed extradition rules. Tollman returned to Britain.

Legal sources said that under traditional American justice, rendition meant capturing wanted people abroad and bringing them to the United States. The term ?extraordinary rendition? was coined in the 1990s for the kidnapping of terror suspects from one foreign country to another for interrogation.

There was concern this weekend from Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, who said: ?The very idea of kidnapping is repugnant to us and we must handle these cases with extreme caution and a thorough understanding of the implications in American law.?

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: ?This law may date back to bounty hunting days, but they should sort it out if they claim to be a civilised nation.?

The US Justice Department declined to comment.



 

Vonkhan

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
8,199
0
71
Why? If the CIA can kidnap German, Italian, Egyptian & other foreign citizens, surely a Saudi can sue an American ...
 

Corn

Diamond Member
Nov 12, 1999
6,389
29
91
Originally posted by: 1prophet
Court: State law won't protect terror author from libel judgment

Local
Court: State law won't protect terror author from libel judgment
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, The Associated Press
2007-12-20 23:39:52.0
Current rank: # 5,876 of 6,075

ALBANY, N.Y. -
New York's highest court decided Thursday a state law can't help a Manhattan author block a libel verdict brought against her in London by a Saudi billionaire over her book "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed - and How to Stop It."

The unanimous decision interpreting a New York law now goes to a federal court. There, author Rachel Ehrenfeld has sought to combat what her attorney argued was a chilling effect on free speech by the billionaire, Khalid Salim A. Bin Mahfouz. The Saudi businessman has sued more than two dozen times over writings on terrorism and those who fund it, including Ehrenfeld's 2003 book.

"The chill continues," said Ehrenfeld's attorney, Daniel Kornstein of Manhattan.

Kornstein said the businessman hasn't tried to collect on his judgment, which includes an apology and a halt on book sales. But he said the London court verdict is a threat to authors.

"That's the danger and the risk and the problem that we tried to stress," Kornstein said. "It creates a sword of Damocles that prohibits authors and publishers - and readers can't read about it."

New York's Court of Appeals had been asked by a federal court if the state's "long-arm" law could apply to the case. But the state court found the law, which establishes jurisdiction for almost anyone who does business in New York, doesn't apply to this case.

"We are pleased that the New York Court of Appeals has today issued an opinion finding that Mr. Bin Mahfouz is not subject to jurisdiction in New York, thereby effectively ending Dr. Ehrenfeld's misuse of U.S. courts to attack the very appropriate and necessary judgment entered by the English court in favor of Mr. Bin Mahfouz and his family," said Mahfouz's attorney, Timothy Finn.

Mahfouz sued Ehrenfeld for libel in the High Court of Justice in London, although Ehrenfeld didn't appear or acknowledge the court's jurisdiction in the 2005 case. A default judgment requires her to declare her writings about Mahfouz to be false, publish a correction and apology, and stop further publication of the disputed statements in Britain.

In U.S. Circuit court, Ehrenfeld sought to declare the British decision unenforceable in the United States. The suit claims that Mahfouz chose to sue Ehrenfeld in England because its libel laws favor plaintiffs. Ehrenfeld's attorney said Mahfouz was engaging in a kind of "libel tourism."

Mahfouz had defended the choice of venue, saying 23 copies of the book had been purchased in England over the Internet and a chapter of the book was available from the ABCnews.com Web site.

Ehrenfeld's book said Mahfouz "and his family have provided direct and indirect monetary support to al-Qaida and other `Islamist terror groups,'" according to the state court record

This is one to watch, who would have thought to use foreign courts to subvert the first ammendment, why not just ban the sale of the book?
Interesting.....I didn't realize libel was protected by the 1st ammendment. Of course the judgement was rendered by a UK court......good luck collecting!
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,926
18
81
Not unheard of. The French government sought to enforce a french court's judgment against Yahoo in a California federal court a few years ago claiming french citizens could purchase nazi memorabilia over the internet, an activity that is foolishly outlawed in france, and that it was Yahoo's legal duty to prevent french citizens from circumventing the law by accessing websites in the US. Eventually the 9th circuit tossed the case for various reasons.

Eh, my memory of the case was a bit off. Yahoo brought the case to enjoin the French from collecting the fine imposed in france by a french court. Though the court dismissed the case, it didn't answer the ultimate question:

"In a 99-page decision, the court left open the central question of whether U.S.-based Internet service providers are liable for damages in foreign courts for displaying content that is unlawful overseas but protected in the United States.

The court said it was unlikely the French would ever enforce the judgment and doubted Yahoo's free speech rights under U.S. law were violated."

A quick summary here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181487,00.html
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
I dont see how a UK court will enforce a civil suit. Unless the author has assets in the UK.

 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,861
1
81
Originally posted by: Genx87
I dont see how a UK court will enforce a civil suit. Unless the author has assets in the UK.
It may amount to nothing more than a 'no visiting Europe' rule.

Frankly I don't see the problem with enforcing the decision. I strongly disagree with English libel laws, but they are established and have been accepted by the rest of the world, if not copied. The book is in Britain, without having to be smuggled there; it's a fair venue. It also has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, because the US constitution can't protect speech beyond it's borders.

Perhaps this author should be filing suit against Amazon and ABC for not restricting access to her work to Americans, or at least countries with proper libel statutes.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,587
9
81
Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Originally posted by: Genx87
I dont see how a UK court will enforce a civil suit. Unless the author has assets in the UK.
It may amount to nothing more than a 'no visiting Europe' rule.

Frankly I don't see the problem with enforcing the decision. I strongly disagree with English libel laws, but they are established and have been accepted by the rest of the world, if not copied. The book is in Britain, without having to be smuggled there; it's a fair venue. It also has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, because the US constitution can't protect speech beyond it's borders.

Perhaps this author should be filing suit against Amazon and ABC for not restricting access to her work to Americans, or at least countries with proper libel statutes.
That's pretty much the size of it. If the book is selling in a foreign country, it's bound by that countries laws. Those laws can't (or shouldn't) extend to other countries, and the penalties are easily avoidable by simply no longer selling the book in that country. If UK wants to crap all over the notion of free speech then let them. That place is going down the shitter faster than the US anyway.
 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,861
1
81
Originally posted by: BoberFett
That's pretty much the size of it. If the book is selling in a foreign country, it's bound by that countries laws. Those laws can't (or shouldn't) extend to other countries, and the penalties are easily avoidable by simply no longer selling the book in that country. If UK wants to crap all over the notion of free speech then let them. That place is going down the shitter faster than the US anyway.
Couldn't agree more.
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,252
476
126
Originally posted by: Corn


Interesting.....I didn't realize libel was protected by the 1st ammendment. Of course the judgement was rendered by a UK court......good luck collecting!
Libel is not protected by by the 1st ammendment in US courts.

This billionaire with the resources at his disposal could have pursued this in the US courts if he believed it was libel according to US laws.
 

CanOWorms

Lifer
Jul 3, 2001
12,414
0
0
They have to have these libel laws to protect their dear Queen. The royalty must not be insulted by the peasants. That is how their society has been structured for centuries. Please understand their culture.
 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,861
1
81
Originally posted by: Corn
Interesting.....I didn't realize libel was protected by the 1st ammendment. Of course the judgement was rendered by a UK court......good luck collecting!
In the simplest terms, the UK does not allow truth as a complete defence of libel. In the US, Canada, and I think most other western countries, you could never be convicted of libel if you could show the damaging statement was fundamentally true.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,736
669
126
This isn't subverting the first amendment, unless we conquered the UK and imposed our constitution there while I wasn't looking.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,926
18
81
Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Originally posted by: Corn
Interesting.....I didn't realize libel was protected by the 1st ammendment. Of course the judgement was rendered by a UK court......good luck collecting!
In the simplest terms, the UK does not allow truth as a complete defence of libel. In the US, Canada, and I think most other western countries, you could never be convicted of libel if you could show the damaging statement was fundamentally true.
I could be incorrect, but I believe truth is generally the defense everywhere. What is different about the US and England libel law is who has the burden. In the US we have very strong speech protections, so to sue someone for libel, the burden is on the plaintiff (say a celebrity) to prove that what the defendant (say the Enquirer) printed is false and that the defendant either knew or should have known what they printed was false. This is a fairly difficult burden on plaintiff, as the Enquirer has the presumption of good faith (truth) on their side.

In England, I understand that when a celebrity sues a tabloid mag, it is the magazine that has the burden of proving that what they printed was either true, or that it was reasonable for them to assume that it was true. That's a really high burden on the defendant especially when they are trying to prove it was reasonable to believe an anonymous caller who said that David Beckham had an affair with the queen or something.

And truth isn't a complete defense to libel or invasion of privacy, as it depends on who the plaintiff is. Celebrities/public persons tend to have much less protection than a private person with regard to speculation about their lives.
 

Drift3r

Guest
Jun 3, 2003
3,572
0
0
Originally posted by: DaveSimmons
This isn't subverting the first amendment, unless we conquered the UK and imposed our constitution there while I wasn't looking.
It was a knee-jerk reactionary title at best. Maybe he wanted everyone to start foaming at the mouth and not read the article themselves.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,917
173
106
Trying to mesh the thread title with the article is giving me a headache.

I don't see anywhere that the Bristish court decision affects US book sales etc?

I don't see how a NY state court can overturn/overrule a Bristish court about book sales in Britain?

WTH?

Fern
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,252
476
126
Originally posted by: Drift3r
Originally posted by: DaveSimmons
This isn't subverting the first amendment, unless we conquered the UK and imposed our constitution there while I wasn't looking.
It was a knee-jerk reactionary title at best. Maybe he wanted everyone to start foaming at the mouth and not read the article themselves.
If I wanted to have everyone to start foaming at the mouth with a non issue at best I would have posted the article about a white supremacist giving Ron Paul $500 since I knew about that a while before it was posted here.

Furthermore if I didn't want anyone to read the article I wouldn't have included the complete article, which had nothing to do with us imposing our constitution there, but a billionaire using English law to silence those critical of him in the US since he knew that his case wouldn't pass muster here.



Interview here with Ehrenfed.

Frontpage Interview?s guest today is Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, Director of the American Center for Democracy. She has a 25-year track-record of following terrorist financing, especially Islamic radical groups and states. In the late 1980? she identified how Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Iran bankrolled terrorism, and how they developed Islamic banking to advance the Islamic agenda.

Ehrenfed, a Ph.D. in criminology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has published hundreds of articles and 3 books on these issues. Her last book Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed ? and How to Stop It, documents who funds terrorism, as well as the expansion of radical Islam.

Funding Evil accused Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire from Jeddah, of funding terrorism. Mahfouz, who is notorious for using British libel laws to silence those who expose him, sued Dr. Ehrenfeld in a British court and she was ordered to destroy all copies of her book in England. She is now counter-suing Mahfouz in the United States.

A new short-form documentary film, The Libel Tourist, has just recently been released, documenting Dr. Ehrenfeld?s experience.

FP: Dr. Ehrenfeld, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Ehrenfeld: Thank you, Jamie. It is a pleasure.

FP: So let?s start at the beginning. Who sued you and for what reason?

Ehrenfeld: Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire, former owner of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, the royal family banker, and founder and owner of the Muwafaq Foundation, which funded al- Qaeda and Hamas, sued me for libel in London, soon after my book Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed ? and How to Stop It, was published in the U.S. In 2003. He claims that he never knowingly funded terrorism. I never said he ?knowingly? did.

FP: Why did this individual sue you in the U.K?

Ehrenfeld: Unlike the U.S. where free speech is protected constitutionally, the libel laws in the UK. are pro-plaintiff.

FP: Can you talk a bit more on this issue of libel laws? Expand for us on how free speech is protected constitutionally in the U.S. in this context and also how the libel laws in the UK. are pro-plaintiff.

Ehrenfeld: Unlike American laws, where free speech is protected by the First Amendment, and truth is the complete defense, England?s libel laws favor the individual?s rights over the public. They put the burden of proof on the defendant rather than the plaintiff. Moreover, there are harsh restrictions on the evidence that writers can present in their defense. U.S. libel laws put the burden of proof on the public figure who claims he has been defamed; the Plaintiff has to prove that the writer was wrong and that he published the false information recklessly and maliciously.

Moreover, the British threshold for establishing ?jurisdiction,? is very low, thus accepting bin Mahfouz?s claim against me, based on 23 copies of my book Funding Evil, which were sold in the U.K. However, the book, which was just published only in the U.S., was most likely purchased by his representatives over the Internet -- in order to claim jurisdiction.

British laws earned the U.K. the label??libel capital of the Western world.? Bin Mahfouz, and other terror financiers, known as ?libel tourists,? use the British laws to veil in secrecy their funding of al Qaeda, other Islamic terror organizations and global propagation of radical Islam. Bin Mahfouz?s legal ?victories? in London - he never won on merit- had the desired affect he and other Saudi terror financiers sought: silencing of the media even in the U.S. where the First Amendment protects writers and publishers. But most American book and newspaper publishers are not willing to risk expensive lawsuits in London. In fact, most refuse to publish even the most comprehensively documented reports on alleged wealthy Middle Eastern funding terrorism. And most refrain from writing about this case.

FP: Who else did this Saudi sue? What differentiates you from the other parties?

Ehrenfeld: Bin Mahfouz threatened and or sued more than 36 publishers and authors, including many Americans who exposed unpleasant details about him. All apologized and retracted. Many paid the huge legal fees to his legal team in the U.K., as well as penalties and ?contributions? to charities of his choice. Some (23), but not all are listed on his website. None of the other American writers or publishers challenged the jurisdiction of the British court, and European and British writers and publishers, did not have much choice.

I alone refused to acknowledge the British court, and declined to comply with its demands and default judgment ? and furthermore countersued him in the U.S.

FP: How come you were not like all the others? How come they all apologized, retracted, paid legal fees etc., and you declined to comply etc.?

Ehrenfeld: Your question is better directed at them. I can not speculate on their decisions. Undoubtedly though, monitory and financial considerations were a premier concern; with British libel laws stuck against them, all who have property in the U.K. had a lot to lose. But since there is so much officially documented information about bin Mahfouz?s alleged financing of al- Qaeda, one could have expected that the media would challenge him and stop his campaign to silence his critics. Indeed, the Wall St. Journal fought successfully a multi-million dollar libel lawsuit brought against the paper by the Saudi Arabian businessman Mohammed Jameel. The House of Lords ruled in favor of the Journal reporting that Jameel have been investigated by the Saudis at the request of US authorities, to ensure that neither he nor his company funded terrorist groups. Lord Hoffman said that preventing publications of articles, which are ?in the public interest, is too risky and would discourage investigative reporting.?

FP: What are the consequences of the U.K. lawsuits on the American media?

Ehrenfeld: The consequences are very grave. Bin Mahfouz single handedly stopped all American newspapers and publishers, not to mention individual reporters, from covering him specifically, and most Saudi terror financiers, in general. Apparently, through him, the Saudis have successfully imposed a wholesale chilling effect on U.S. instigative reporting on Saudi terror financing.

FP: What can we do about these consequences of the U.K. lawsuits?

Ehrenfeld: We can counter-sue in the U.S., as I have done. And although my case is still pending (we are awaiting the decision of the New York State Court of Appeals on jurisdiction), on June 8, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared my case is ?ripe? for hearing in a U.S. court, noting that the case has implications for all U.S. authors and publishers,whose First Amendment rights are threatened by foreign libel rulings.

The ruling thus established that all U.S. writers and publishers sued for libel in other countries, can ask U.S. courts to rule the foreign decisions unenforceable here - provided they have jurisdiction over the person who sued for libel overseas. This important legal decision weakened bin Mahfouz? ability to threaten or sue U.S. authors and publishers. Shortly afterwards, bin Mahfouz threatened to sue Cambridge University Press (CUP), the publisher of Alms of Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World, but refrained from including the book?s two American writers, J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins.

Winning my case against bin Mahfouz will not change the British ruling against me. But judging by the impact my case has had already one can hope that U.K. , and the House of Lords ruling in favor of the Wall St. Journal in the Jameel case, U.K. writers and publishers would be encouraged to demand changing their libel laws, to allow the freedom of responsible publications without the fear of intimidating, expensive lawsuits.

If foreigners wish to sue Americans for exposing threats to our national security, they are welcome do so in the U.S., under the First Amendment laws. But Congress should terminate this form of Financial Jihad ? silencing the media by intimidation ? and costly foreign libel suits on matters governed by U.S. jurisdiction.

To better protect our freedom of speech, Congress could reinforce the First Amendment with a new statute prohibiting enforcement of foreign libel judgments in the U.S., whenever American authors and publishers report responsibly on terror -related and other national security threats.

We are at war with enormously wealthy and determined enemies. We should prevent their use of their tremendous wealth to deprive American writers of their constitutional rights to expose actions that threaten our safety and freedoms.

FP: So you are now fighting back, counter-suing Mahfouz in New York. Tell us exactly what inspired you to counter-sue.

Ehrenfeld: As an American citizen I see no reason to abide by English law, since we declared our independence from Britain in 1776. I felt that this matter should be resolved by U.S. Courts within U.S. jurisdiction.

FP: Has any other American counter-sued him in the U.S.?

Ehrenfeld: None.

FP: There are impressive Amice Briefs in your case by major American publishers. Has anyone offered financial support? After all, you are fighting to protect everybody?s freedom of speech.

Ehrenfeld: I have received no financial support from any publisher.

FP: Why do you think your case has not reached the mainstream media?

Ehrenfeld: There is no logical explanation. Except that maybe they are afraid of offending the Saudis, in which case, it would further evidence my point.

FP: What are the personal implications of this case on you?

Ehrenfeld: Apparently, Saudi influence on the media, politics and business interests is so pervasive that only the most courageous and honorable, professionals, colleagues and friends have stood by me. Others keep a silent distance--and some even try to harm me.

FP: What is the significance of this case in relation to national security?

Ehrenfeld: One of the most important foundations of American Democracy is freedom of the press. Bin Mahfouz's libel suits are an important part of an enormous campaign to severely curtail press and media willingness and ability to freely investigate and report the great financial powers diligently working to destroy our nation and indeed the entire Western civilization.

FP: Dr. Ehrenfeld, thank you for joining us. And thank you for your valiant and courageous fight for freedom.

Enhrenfeld: Thank you, Jamie. I appreciate the opportunity Frontpage Magazine has given me to be heard.



 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,861
1
81
Originally posted by: sirjonk
Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Originally posted by: Corn
Interesting.....I didn't realize libel was protected by the 1st ammendment. Of course the judgement was rendered by a UK court......good luck collecting!
In the simplest terms, the UK does not allow truth as a complete defence of libel. In the US, Canada, and I think most other western countries, you could never be convicted of libel if you could show the damaging statement was fundamentally true.
I could be incorrect, but I believe truth is generally the defense everywhere. What is different about the US and England libel law is who has the burden. In the US we have very strong speech protections, so to sue someone for libel, the burden is on the plaintiff (say a celebrity) to prove that what the defendant (say the Enquirer) printed is false and that the defendant either knew or should have known what they printed was false. This is a fairly difficult burden on plaintiff, as the Enquirer has the presumption of good faith (truth) on their side.

In England, I understand that when a celebrity sues a tabloid mag, it is the magazine that has the burden of proving that what they printed was either true, or that it was reasonable for them to assume that it was true. That's a really high burden on the defendant especially when they are trying to prove it was reasonable to believe an anonymous caller who said that David Beckham had an affair with the queen or something.

And truth isn't a complete defense to libel or invasion of privacy, as it depends on who the plaintiff is. Celebrities/public persons tend to have much less protection than a private person with regard to speculation about their lives.
You're right - it was quite some time ago that I read about the difference between English and Canadian libel laws, and I seem to have exaggerated it in my mind.
 

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