The Iraqi government has sued the far left British Guardian newspaper for defaming Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in a recent article. The court ordered The Guardian to pay Maliki $86,000 for the April article.
France News 24 reported:
A British newspaper has been ordered to pay Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki financial compensation for describing him as increasingly autocratic in an article, the paper said Wednesday.
An Iraqi court upheld a complaint of defamation against the prime minister and ordered the Guardian pay him 100 million dinar (52,000 pounds, 86,000 dollars), the newspaper said.
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The court supported a complaint by Maliki’s intelligence service against the newspaper over the article written in April by a local Iraqi reporter.
The article quoted unnamed members of the Iraqi national intelligence service who claimed that the prime minister was beginning to run Iraqi affairs with an authoritarian hand.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Guardian: “I was very concerned to hear reports of today’s court ruling. Media freedom is vital in any democracy.”
The Guardian said it would appeal the decision, which it described as a further blow to free speech in the war-torn country.