Saudi businessman clears his name

Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz, former chairman of National Commercial Bank, has been cleared of all allegations levelled at him by a Mail on Sunday newspaper article.

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By  David Ingham Published  January 14, 2004

Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz, former chairman of National Commercial Bank, has accepted substantial damages and a comprehensive apology from the publishers of the Mail on Sunday newspaper, its editor Peter Wright and journalist Graeme Beaton in settlement of a libel action. The action was the result of an article dated October 27, 2002 in which it was alleged that Bin Mahfouz was the brother in law of Osama Bin Laden, has funded Bin Laden’s terrorist activities and had been dismissed from NCB because of funding of terrorism. The following apology will run in the next edition of Mail on Sunday: “On 27 October, 2002, we wrongly alleged that Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz had funded terrorism and was the brother-in-law of Osama Bin Laden. We also incorrectly suggested that Sheikh Khalid was formerly Chief Operating Officer of the discredited Bank of Credit and Commerce International and was dismissed from the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia for suspected illegal funding of monies to Islamic charities supporting terrorism following an audit which uncovered that funding. “We accept that there is no truth whatsoever in any of these serious allegations. Sheikh Khalid is not the brother-in-law of Osama Bin Laden and has never supported terrorism. We accept that Sheikh Khalid and his family abhor terrorism in every way. We apologise to Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz for the distress and embarrassment we have caused. We have agreed to pay him substantial damages which the Sheikh is donating to charity, together with a contribution to his legal costs.” Bin Mahfouz is continuing to pursue two further sets of libel proceedings in London. In the first, he and his son have brought proceedings against the authors Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié. Judgment has been entered against Dasquié but the proceedings against Brisard, who gave a witness statement supporting the Mail on Sunday in the action just settled, are continuing, as are a second set of proceedings brought by Sheikh Khalid against Brisard and two companies owned by him.

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