Guardian pays for Libya libel


By Roger Pearson

Retired engineer and businessman Peter Griffin has accepted £50,000
libel damages from The Guardian over an article linking his name with
the establishment of Libya’s illicit nuclear weapons programme.

Robert Duggans, solicitor for Griffin, who used to run a company
called Gulf Technical Industries Dubai, told Mr Justice Eady that The
Guardian carried a piece in February last year headed “Britons ‘had key
role in Libyan nuclear arms'” with a sub-heading “Malaysian police
report implicates the Griffins”.

Duggans said the paper referred
to a Malaysian police report which was said to have concluded that
Griffin had been knowingly instrumental in setting up Libya’s illicit
nuclear weapons programme.

However, Duggans said that while the
Malaysian police referred to allegations against Griffin, they made no
findings of wrongdoing against him.

He told the court that The
Guardian, although it had not admitted any liability in respect of what
was published, had paid £50,000 into court to settle the action and had
also offered to pay Griffin’s reasonable legal costs.

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