In a UK High Court judgment made public on 15 June 2006 following a Court Order of 25 May 2006, a Judge ordered Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, the authors of a book, "Forbidden Truth", which made highly defamatory allegations about Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz, to pay them £10,000 damages each (the maximum permitted under the relevant provision of the UK Defamation Act 1996) and also ordered M. Brisard to pay interim costs of £150,000. The Judge, Mr Justice Gray, in addition ordered Brisard and Dasquié to print an apology in relation to the allegations made in the book, granted an injunction against Brisard, and continued an injunction already made against Dasquié to prevent them from repeating the libels.
The defendants had alleged in their book that Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman had knowingly funded and supported the terrorist activities of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. The book had been widely distributed around the world and a significant number of copies had been sold in the UK.
In his judgment, which the Judge ordered could not be published pending the trial of another case which concluded only a few days ago, the Judge commented on the extreme seriousness of the defamatory allegations that had been made and noted that there was "no defence of any kind" advanced by the defendants. In awarding Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman the maximum permitted damages, the Judge made it clear that the purpose of doing so was to vindicate their reputations. He said: "...the libels sued on are so serious and the entitlement of the Claimants to obtain an award which effectively vindicates their reputations is so clear that an award of the statutory maximum, namely £10,000, is justified in the case of each Claimant."
This most recent judgment follows an earlier judgment obtained by Sheikh Khalid against Brisard in July 2004 arising out of a defamatory report prepared by Brisard and published on his internet site. Sheikh Khalid was also awarded the statutory maximum damages of £10,000 and costs in relation to that action.
For the full text of the Court Order (click here) and full text of Court judgment (click here)