Mail on Sunday in 'stab attack' libel payout

A government adviser on combating extremism among young Muslims today accepted substantial libel damages over a newspaper claim that he supported al Qaida.

Systems engineer Inayat Bunglawala, who lives in Luton, is a spokesman at the Muslim Council of Britain and, in 2005, was appointed one of seven conveners for a Home Office taskforce.

He sued over an article which appeared in the Mail on Sunday in March last year and alleged that there were strong grounds to suspect him of unlawfully stabbing a man at his home in December 2008, and that he was an extremist who supported Abu Qatada and al Qaida.

His solicitor, Stevie Loughrey, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court that Mr Bunglawala did not commit any criminal act in relation to the December 2008 incident.

As Associated Newspapers now accepted, he was forced to act in self-defence to protect himself and his family against an intruder, who it later turned out was so drunk that he had no recollection of the incident.

Just 24 hours after publication of the story, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it would be taking no action against Bunglawala.

Loughrey said his client did not support or condone the views or objectives of Abu Qatada or al Qaida and had gone on the record many times to criticise and condemn al Qaida.

He added that the newspaper now accepted that the allegations were false, and had apologised and agreed to pay substantial damages and Bunglawala’s costs.

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