|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Bin Mahfouz & Ors v Ehrenfeld & Anor  EWHC 1156 (QB) (03 May 2005)
Cite as:  EWHC 1156 (QB)
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|(1) Khalid Salim Bin Mahfouz|
|(2) Abdulrahman K S Bin Mahfouz|
|(3) Sultan K S Bin Mahfouz||CLAIMANTS|
|- v -|
|(1) Dr Rachel Ehrenfeld|
|(2) Bonus Books Inc||DEFENDANTS|
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MS EHRENFELD AND BONUS BOOKS INC did not appear and were not represented
Crown Copyright ©
"In summary it is alleged in the Book that I, together with my two sons, am one of the principal supporters of Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network Al Qaeda. It is further alleged that I provide this support by, amongst other things, contributing millions of dollars to further the campaign of terrorism and atrocities waged by Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
These allegations are all entirely false. I do not have, nor have I ever had, any involvement or association with the sponsoring of Al Qaeda nor have I ever knowingly financed terrorism of any description and I vehemently deny this. Neither the United Nations, EU, UK, US nor any other government has ever indicated that I am involved in the supporting of terrorism on any report or list. My family and I abhor and unequivocally condemn all acts of terrorism.
My family and I have business interests all over the world. As a banker I consider myself to be well known to the UK financial community. I and my family own five homes here. My sons currently own Nimir Petroleum Limited [that position has changed, as I indicated earlier, since this witness statement was prepared] which is registered in England (which they are in the process of selling). My reputation in the UK and that of my family, is very important to me."
He then goes on to indicate earlier steps which have been taken in relation to similar allegations when made by other people.
"The allegations that have been made about me in the Book are of the utmost seriousness and are highly damaging to me, both in my personal and business life, particularly in the present global climate. As can be imagined these allegations have also caused me (and my family) great personal distress."
"The net result of this abuse of the legal process is [the] defendant both hides the truth of his acts behind the screen of English libel law and seriously chills legitimate and good faith investigation into his behaviour and links to terrorism."
"On October 19, 2004, Khalid Bin Mahfouz commenced legal proceedings against me for libel in a British court. Despite the enormous cost involved, I have decided to take it upon myself to challenge Khalid Bin Mahfouz and provide the UK court with evidence that he, the Muwafaq Foundation, and the NCB have in fact supported Al Qaeda and HAMAS.
My challenge of Bin Mahfouz carries even greater repercussions since Prince Turki, the Saudi ambassador to London, is alleged to have said recently that it's important that Bin Mahfouz win because he 'represents all of us' [Saudi Arabia and the Royal Family]'."
"A representative of Mahfouz also denied … that an audit of the Saudi bank of which he was director showed links to charities controlled by Bin Laden".
Furthermore, USA Today has printed a correction to an article it published on 29 October 1999 entitled 'Saudi Money Aiding Bin Laden'. It confirmed that USA Today "has not been able to locate any record of such an audit and has no reason to believe that one was conducted'. It stated in the correction that the article contained "errors" and that "the story's assertions have been widely reported and subsequently retracted by others". All of those corrections have been placed in evidence before me.
"According to Mahfouz's website he has won many judgments by default - even against bit American Publications that preferred to apologise and pay fines".
Cherif Sedky points out that this is a misleading account of matters, since KBM only obtained two other default judgments, namely against Guillaume Dasquie and Monsieur Brisard's two companies, those having been obtained because the defendants could not defend the proceedings on any grounds. It is an unfair suggestion that they were forced into settling because they lacked financial muscle.