This is a beautiful thing. Atlas readers have first hand knowledge of the harassment and attrition Rachel Ehrenfeld has suffered at the hands of billionaire Saudi Bin Mafouz. He funded terror, she exposed it, he sued her in the UK and won (Rachel lives in NY). This is lawfare. The litigation jihad relentlessly pursues those exposing ugly truths in an attempt to shut them up and shut them down. And while most of these cases are never won, they wreak havoc on an individual's personal life and finances.
Please see my previous articles on the trials and tribulations Ehrenfeld has suffered just to expose the truth.
NY'S 'LIBEL-TOURISM' FIX
NY Post SAMUEL A. ABADY & HARVEY SILVERGLATE
February 25, 2008 -- A CRITICAL First Amendment bill, the "Libel Terrorism Reform Act" is pending in both houses of the state Legislature. It was written in direct response to the Court of Appeals' decision in the case of Ehrenfeld v. bin Mahfouz.
Rachel Ehrenfeld is an Israeli-American terrorism scholar and internationally recognized counterterrorism expert. In her book "Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed and How to Stop It," she identified Khalid bin Mahfouz, banker to the Saudi royal family and one of the world's richest men, as a leading terrorism financier.
Ehrenfeld cites government documents as evidence for these particulars:
* As far back as 1996, French, British and US intelligence believed bin Mahfouz had erected a banking system to benefit Osama bin Laden.
* Bin Mahfouz's bogus Muwafaq (Blessed Relief) "charitable foundation" fronted for several other terror groups, including Makhtab al-Khidamat, al Qaeda, Hamas and Abu-Sayyaf. The "charity's" head was Yassin al-Qadi, later designated by the State and Treasury Departments as an international terrorist.
Bin Mahfouz responded by suing Ehrenfeld for libel - but not in New York, even though "Funding Evil" was published here. He sued in England, where libel law places the burden of proof on defendants, rather than on plaintiffs. The English court accepted jurisdiction on the dubious grounds that 23 copies of Ehrenfeld's book had been bought there via the Internet.
In a US court, bin Mahfouz would be forced to open his finances to scrutiny and be deposed under oath - neither of which he had to do when suing in England.
Britain has no First Amendment to protect free speech or a free press - and it has recently seen a surge in "libel tourism" - actions by wealthy, nonresident Arabs linked to terrorism who sue in England because its law strongly favors libel plaintiffs.
Last year, English legal publisher Sweet and Maxwell reported that the number of such libel cases tripled from the year before to 13 percent of all defamation cases in Britain.
Libel tourism has forced British publishers to pulp (that is, destroy unsold) five books on terrorism, and libel fears led Random House UK to drop plans to publish Craig Unger's US bestseller, "House of Bush, House of Saud."