Muhamed Veliu has won his libel action over an article published in the Kosovan newspaper, the Bota Sot. Mr Veliu is the London correspondent for Top Channel TV in Albania and the Express Newspaper in Kosovo. The false allegation, published on 20 July 2005, was that Mr Veliu was implicated in the 7 July bombings in London.
Mr Veliu sued both the publisher of the paper, Xhevdet Mazrekaj, and its editor, Skender Bucpapaj. Mr Bucpapaj failed to defend the proceedings and judgment was entered against him for the total sum of £175,000. Mr Mazrekaj, however, relied on the ‘offer of amends’ scheme in the Defamation Act and accordingly he was granted a discount. Although, given his conduct, the discount was the smallest granted under the Offer of Amends procedure. Of the £175,000 awarded, £120,000 is recoverable from Mr Mazrekaj. This is by far the highest award under the Offer of Amends provisions.
Muhamed Veliu was represented by Hanna Basha