A Bolton born man who now lives in Luton won a public apology at London’s High Court today and £45,000 libel damages over a Daily Express article which falsely linked him to death threats to Prince Harry.
Adam Tudor, solicitor for Inayat Bunglawala, who is Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, claimed the article suggested that Mr Bunglawala was ‘a fanatical, sneering extremist who was incident r, at the very least, condoning a terrorist attack upon Prince Harry, and that he considered the Prince to be a fair and legitimate target for terrorists.”
Tudor told top libel judge, Mr Justice David Eady that the article appeared on 1 March this year under the headline ‘Target Harry’with a subsidiary headline, ‘British Fanatics Threaten Him.”
He said that the article stated that ‘sneering Muslim fanatics’had labelled the Prince a target for assassins after his heroics against the Taliban while he was with the army in Afghanistan.
However he said there was no basis whatsoever to suggest that Mr Bunglawala, who in 2005 was appointed by the British government as one of seven conveners for a Home Office taskforce with responsibility for combating extremism among young Muslims, had either condoned or incited any attack on Prince Harry. Nor, he said was there any basis for alleging that he was an extremist of any kind.
Express Newspapers has now acknowledged that a quote attributed to Mr Bunglawala was incomplete and that he had in fact made it clear that he hoped Prince Harry and his army colleagues would be brought home safely from Afghanistan.
He said the paper accepted that the allegations were false and should never have been published and apologised to Mr Bunglawala for the distress and embarrassment he had been caused. In addition to the apology and the damages they would also be paying his legal costs said Mr Tudor.
Ian Helme, counsel for the paper told the judge : ‘The defendant apologises to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment caused as a result of the publication of these false allegations.”