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Mohammed Dahlan pictured in 2007.
Mohammed Dahlan pictured in 2007.
Image: Silwadi Osama/ABACA/PA Images

Palestinian politician to pursue defamation case against Facebook in Irish High Court

Mohammed Dahlan’s lawyers have moved their focus from England to Ireland.
Sep 12th 2019, 10:09 PM 23,537 0

A PALESTINIAN POLITICIAN plans to pursue a defamation case against Facebook in the High Court in Dublin.

Mohammed Dahlan, who once served as an adviser to Yasser Arafat, has turned the focus of the case to Ireland after ending legal proceedings in the High Court in London on Monday.

Dahlan took legal action against the British-based publication Middle East Eye over an article which he claims made a number of false allegations about him. 

Dahlan is a well-known political figure in the Middle East and previously served as a key leader of political party Fatah, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, in Gaza.

His lawyers told TheJournal.ie they “discontinued the action” in London “because our client was satisfied with the information we had learned throughout the course of the litigation”. The case did not go to trial.

However, David Hearst, Middle East Eye’s editor-in-chief, said the discontinuation of the case amounts to their journalism being “fully vindicated”.

Following the outcome of the case in London, Dahlan’s lawyers have moved their focus to Dublin and how the article was distributed on Facebook. 

Dahlan’s solicitor Paul Tweed said his client “will continue vigorously to pursue his legal action against Facebook in the High Court in Dublin, for facilitating the further and more extensive international dissemination of these false allegations and for inaccurately disseminating his data”. 

False Jamal Khashoggi claims 

Dahlan issued separate High Court legal proceedings against Facebook in July 2017 and January 2019. Facebook’s Dublin office is the company’s headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The 2017 proceedings relate to the same Middle East Eye article, which was shared on Facebook. Dahlan’s lawyers argue that Facebook is a publisher itself and should also be held to account if defamatory claims are read and shared via the website.

The 2019 proceedings relate to articles published by Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak that made a number of allegations linking Dahlan to events after the death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The claims, which Dahlan vigorously denies, included that Dahlan helped to hide traces of Khashoggi’s murder.

Dahlan’s lawyers said the 2017 case is currently their primary focus and further progressed than the 2019 proceedings.

A spokesperson for Facebook said the company does not comment on ongoing legal cases.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

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Órla Ryan

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