Thursday, August 04, 2011

Saudi Prince Wins Libel Damages against Independent

On 15th April, Robert Fisk, a journalist for The Independent newspaper, published an article which stated the Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Nayef, ordered police to shoot unarmed protesters. Fisk commented that this order was ‘extraordinary and outrageous,’ and should be investigated by the International Criminal Court. The claims originated from a fake order published by protesters online which the Independent picked up on.
Prince Nayef Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
The article created large consequences for the Independent Print Ltd., who was taken to London’s High Court on Wednesday. The paper has paid the prince ‘substantial damages’ to compensate, of which he will be giving to charity. The amount paid remains undisclosed.
Prince Nayef is second in line to the throne and has been Minister of the Interior for 40 years. Perhaps the Arab Spring has prompted quick conclusions over orders that emerge over the internet. Heather Morris, The Independent’s lawyer, stated that Fisk wrote the article in ‘good faith,’ however this mistake is sure to remind the British press of the importance of good journalism and the consequences of hasty assumptions.

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