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Nadhmi Auchi and the State of British Libel Laws

The New Statesman has published the following short statement:

Nadhmi Auchi – apology

We recently published links to articles originally published by others which made serious allegations about Nadhmi Auchi. A number of these allegations have now been withdrawn by their original UK publishers on the grounds that they contained significant inaccuracies and we fully accept that to be the case. We should like to offer our sincere apologies to Mr Auchi for any distress he has suffered as a result of our linking to the articles.

I cannot say any more about this at all.

I would like to say, however, that it is a genuine national disgrace that it is impossible in the United Kingdom to post links to material which may be readily found with anybody with the slightest degree of skill and intelligence, or to make comments about  public figures whose conduct is a matter of public record.

Faced with a determined and wealthy opponent, and the state of British libel laws, the only option is – more often than not – to capitulate or be utterly destroyed.

For those of you who live in a country which respects Freedom of Expression: I envy you.

The only outcome of this that will do, is a committment from this or any government to replace our disgraceful libel laws with a new law, that protects the privacy of private persons, while exposing public figures to a scrutiny that is both deserved and essential.

I am forced to close comments on this piece.