Moore is standing by the Telegraph’s allegations about Galloway
George Galloway said this week he still intended to sue The Daily Telegraph, despite editor Charles Moore’s robust defence of the paper’s allegations the Labour MP received payments from the Iraqi regime.
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Galloway told Press Gazette he would be suing both the Telegraph and the Christian Science Monitor. “The matter is in the hands of my lawyers and we will be answering the allegations in court,” he said.
Moore wrote in last Saturday’s paper that he stood by the allegations despite the admission by the Christian Science Monitor in Boston last week that a similar story it published in April was untrue.
The Monitor carried out an extensive investigation into documents it obtained in Iraq and found they were almost certainly forgeries. It has apologised to Galloway and its readers.
Galloway told Sky News that the Monitor’s apology proved there was a market in forged documents about his dealings with Saddam’s Ba’ath party regime and that the Telegraph’s documents would also be exposed.
Moore wrote: “There may be a market, but The Daily Telegraph is not part of it: we paid nothing for our story, no one supplied it to us, and our documents are not forged.” Moore added that the experts who discovered the forgeries said they believed them to be “consistent with genuine Iraqi documents”.
Galloway’s claims that the foreign ministry in Baghdad, where Telegraph reporter David Blair found the documents, had been destroyed was nonsense, said Moore. “This is a blatant distortion. There had been fires within the foreign ministry, but not for some days. It was not destroyed.”
Moore is asking for Galloway to say where he was and who he was with on Boxing Day 1999. One of the documents shows that a meeting was arranged on that day between Galloway and an Iraqi intelligence agent. He also asks for Galloway’s representative, Fawaz Zureikat, to give his own account of his movements at that time.
Moore said many people were under the misapprehension that Galloway had issued the Telegraph with a libel writ, but none had been received.
He wrote: “We have complete confidence in our story, in the authenticity of the documents and in David Blair.”
By Mary Stevens