Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED October 6, 2003

Statement made in open court in defamation proceedings following the publication of an article in a newspaper making allegations of terrorist activities against the claimant.Statement in open court following a libel action brought by the claimant, Lofti Raissi ('R'), a qualified commercial pilot and flying instructor, against the defendant publishers of the Mail on Sunday newspaper ('the newspaper'). On 30 September 2001, the newspaper published an article referring to allegations made against R in extradition proceedings that R was subject to at the time. It set out evidence against R that appeared to substantiate the allegations made by the United States ('US') government in those proceedings, namely that R had dishonestly used the social security number of a dead person to establish a false identity in the US and was a party to the terrorist attacks on the US on 11 September 2001. In fact the extradition proceedings concluded that there was no evidence whatsoever to support the allegations that R was involved in the attacks on the US.The defendants accepted that there was no evidence to support allegations of R's involvement in the 11 September attacks or the alleged fraudulent use of social security numbers and apologised to R for the harm done to his reputation and any distress caused by the publication. The defendants also agreed to pay R's legal costs as well as damages.