12 September 2019

Palestinian politician sues Facebook for defamation

A Palestinian politician is pursuing a defamation claim against Facebook in Ireland after dropping proceedings against the original publisher in the High Court in London.

Mohammed Dahlan had sued Middle East Eye over a raft of allegations in an article including accusations that he was secretly involved in funding the unsuccessful military coup in Turkey in July 2016. The original article also made claims about his activities in Libya and alleged he had been exiled from the UAE.

Extensive dissemination

The litigation against Facebook claims the giant facilitated the 'further and more extensive dissemination of false allegations'  and for inaccurately disseminating his data.  Mr Dahlan's lawyer, Paul Tweed of TweedLaw, said of the litigation: 'Middle East Eye never tried to verify any of these claims by contacting Mohammed Dahlan. In the legal action it did not seek to defend any of the claims as being true.' He says MEE admitted that the claims about the coup were based on information provided by an unidentified source in the Turkish Intelligence Services.

Public interest

In the meanwhile MEE, represented by London law firm Carter-Ruck, has expressed confidence that it could have defended the claims against Mr Dahlan in the public interest. It has continued to publish the article and is claiming costs over the dropped action which could amount to six figures. 

High Court in Dublin

Mr Tweed added that Mr Dahlan had achieved his objections in the English proceedings and would continue to vigorously pursue his legal action against Facebook in the High Court in Dublin.