Mr Abdel Mahmoud Nour Eldaiem Salih Al-Koronky (then the Sudanese Press Councillor at the Sudan Embassy in London) has won his libel action against the Sunday Telegraph. The Sunday Telegraph paid very substantial damages and apologised to Mr Al-Koronky.
Sudanese Diplomat obtains “sincere and unequivocal” apology from the Sunday Telegraph
4 July 2002
Yesterday through a Statement in Open Court the High Court of Justice was told that Mr Abdel Mahmoud Nour Eldaiem Salih AlKoronky had been seriously libelled by the Sunday Telegraph in an article published on 17 September 2000 under the heading “Sudan diplomat ‘kept slave girl in London home’”.
Mr AlKoronky was between September 1998 and April 2000 Charge D’Affaires at the Sudanese Embassy in London and since then has been the Republic of the Sudan’s Press Councillor in London.
In court Mr AlKoronky’s solicitor, Alasdair Pepper of Carter-Ruck, told the court that the Sunday Telegraph had claimed in the article that Ms Zainab Nazer, who had worked for a short time for Mr AlKoronky, was in hiding in London receiving medical treatment, have “escaped” from his house to seek political asylum. They also reported Ms Nazer’s claim to have been kept as a slave by Mr AlKoronky and his family. Mr Pepper said “All the defamatory allegations in the article about which Mr AlKoronky complained were totally and utterly untrue and should never have been published”. He went on to tell the court that Mr AlKoronky “felt wounded to the heart by the Defendants’ allegations. He has an established political and intellectual record of fighting for freedom and justice. From his days at Khartoum University in Sudan and, therefore throughout his career as a journalist and diplomat, he has written extensively and spoken out at demonstrations, lectures and in press interviews for political and civil liberties. Mr AlKoronky has also appeared many times on Sudanese Arab Television and BBC broadcasts to promote human rights”.
The Sunday Telegraph, its editor Dominic Lawson and the author of the article, Christina Lamb confirm all what Mr Pepper said unreservedly withdrew the allegations complained of and through their lawyer said “The Defendants sincerely and unequivocally apologise to Mr AlKoronky”. They also similarly apologised for the subsequent distress they caused him through their attempts to defend the proceedings.
The court also learnt that the settlement included an undertaking from the Sunday Telegraph not to repeat the allegations, the payment of a “very substantial sum in compensation” and Mr AlKoronky’s legal costs.
Later Mr AlKoronky said “I am extremely pleased that the case is over and the cloud has been lifted from my reputation.”
The case is another success for Carter-Ruck’s Conditional Fee Agreement scheme.
All enquiries to Alasdair Pepper.