The following Press Release was issued by Kendall Freeman on 25 October 2006.|
Sheikhs Khalid and Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz receive apology from authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié
Saudi businessmen Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his son Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz have received a public apology from Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie for allegations regarding support for terrorism they made in The Forbidden Truth (La Verite Interdite), a book widely circulated in a number of countries since 2001.
Mr Brisard also made similar allegations about Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz in a report he submitted to the UN in 2002.
The apologies follow Court proceedings brought by Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman in the UK and Switzerland in relation to both the Book and the Report and have been given as part of a settlement of those proceedings.
Sincerely apologising for any distress and damage that these very serious and highly defamatory allegations caused Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman, Mr Brisard and Mr Dasquie have accepted and acknowledged that all of the allegations they made regarding Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman supporting terrorism are entirely and manifestly false and have undertaken not to repeat them.
Mr Brisard and Mr Dasquie have also agreed to the publication of the apology in a number of newspapers and publications around the world. They have also agreed to arrange for the Book to be withdrawn, and have made a payment of substantial damages which Sheikh Khalid and Sheikh Abdulrahman are donating to UNICEF.
An apology to Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz
We, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, are the authors of "Forbidden Truth", a book circulated widely since it was first published in the autumn of 2001. I, Jean-Charles Brisard, am also the author of a Report entitled "Terrorism Financing" published in December 2002.
The Book and the Report contain very serious and highly defamatory allegations about Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz, alleging support for terrorism through their businesses, families and charities, and directly. As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your families, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false.
The allegations were based on information which we have now been able to establish has been largely withdrawn or refuted in the intervening years since "Forbidden Truth" was first published, and to our knowledge has never been verified. We did not anticipate at the time the Book and the Report were written that the information which we relied upon would later be withdrawn or refuted. Notwithstanding research into terrorism financing, we have learnt nothing since the publication of the Book and the Report which suggests there is any evidence supporting the allegations. We therefore now unreservedly withdraw all of the allegations about you both in the Book and the Report and confirm that we will never repeat them.
We appreciate the very serious damage that has been caused to your reputations by these allegations. We also accept that the allegations caused you and your family very great distress. For all of this we are truly sorry.
To read Jean-Charles Brisard's Witness Statement in full, please click here