IN BRITISH COURTS :
THE SUNDAY EXPRESS PAYS £60,000.00 AND LEGAL COSTS TO KING FAHAD ACADEMY AND ITS FORMER DIRECTOR TO SETTLE LIBEL ACTION
Express Newspapers, the publisher of the Sunday Express, has agreed to pay damages totaling £60,000.00 to the King Fahad Academy, a charity school based in West London, and to its former Director, Dr Sumaya Alyusuf, in settlement of a libel claim brought in the High Court in London. The newspaper has also published a formal apology to the Academy and Dr. Alyusuf. In a statement read out in open court agreeing to pay damages and publish an apology, the Sunday Express also agreed to meet the Academy’s and Dr Alyusuf’s legal costs.
The claim followed the publication in 2011 by the Sunday Express, in print and and on its website, of an article containing baseless claims about the Academy and its former Director, suggesting fanaticism and anti-Semitism.
Subsequently, the newspaper apologized for the article in court in July 2012 and printed a written apology in August 2012. The Express Newspapers, eventually agreed to the level of damages that should be paid immediately before a final High Court hearing in November 2013.
Dr. Saud Al-Ammari, Member of Board of Trustees and Legal Counsel to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London, who oversaw this case stated:
“I am very pleased that this case was finally concluded in a manner that reflects fairness and justice to an educational institution, such as the King Fahad Academy, which was falsely accused of allegations that directly contradict its founding principles as well as its day-today practices.. The Board of Trustees of the Academy, its administration and staff strive jointly, as OFSTED has recognised to “promote respect and harmony between different cultures and beliefs”. They do their best to make sure that students, who come from different cultural backgrounds, understand, believe in and practice the principles of peace, tolerance, mutual respect, open dialogue and cooperation which they believe in wholeheartedly. A living example of this is the initiative launched in 2008 by the Custodian of Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to create ‘Dialogue among world Religions & Cultures’.
“I am also glad that the newspaper has finally agreed to pay damages to the Academy and Dr Alyusuf for the damage and distress that the article caused. The Academy and Dr Alyusuf made it clear from the outset that if a prompt apology was made by Express Newspapers that financial compensation would not be of significance. To emphasize its position, the Academy has decided to donate its share of the damages to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the Philippines Typhoon Victims and to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, an organization which seeks to prevent religious prejudice, extremism and conflict.
“Finally, I want to thank HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holly Mosques to the United Kingdom and Chairman of Board of Trustees of King Fahad Academy in London whose support lead to the successful conclusion of this case.”
31 December 2013