A BIRMINGHAM man falsely accused in a terrorist plot has been awarded “substantial libel damages” by the High Court.
City baker Abdul Rauf, of Ward End, Birmingham also received a public apology from The Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Times, Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post and the Sunday Mercury after they had falsely linked to a plot to blow up a trans Atlantic passenger aircraft with liquid bombs.
The newspapers printed articles in August last year which “suggested that there were reasonable grounds to suspect” Mr Rauf was funding the allaged plot, his solicitor told the High Court.
“Certain of the articles suggested that Mr Rauf had been arrested in connection with the alleged plots, whether in Pakistan or in England,” she said.
“These allegations were untrue. As the defendant newspaper publishers all now acknowledge, Mr Rauf has never been arrested nor detained by police on suspicion of involvement in the ‘liquid bombs’ plot, or for that matter any other alleged terrorist plots or activities, and thee are no grounds for suspecting any such involvement.
“These articles caused Mr Rauf significant embarrassment and distress at a time of particularly heightened sensitivity in relations within the Muslim community.”
All publications also agreed to a written public apology.
Julian Darrall, solicitor for the publishers, added: “The defendants apologise to Mr Rauf for the distress and embarrassment he has suffered as a result of the publication of the false allegations contained in the articles complained of.”