Search

Finsbury Park Mosque wins libel payout after being wrongly linked to terrorism in financial services database

PUBLISHED: 14:32 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:34 01 February 2017

Finsbury Park Mosque. Picture: Ken Mears

Finsbury Park Mosque. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

A news agency has agreed to pay Finsbury Park Mosque undisclosed damages after wrongly linking it to terrorism.

Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar. Picture: Finsbury Park Mosque Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar. Picture: Finsbury Park Mosque

Reuters expressed its “regret” at the High Court over publishing the allegations in its global online database World-Check.

Sara Monsoori, representing the firm that now runs the mosque in St Thomas’s Road, said in a statement in open court the database is used by banks, financial institutions and other organisations providing financial services.

The subscription-only service publishes profiles that go to subscribers including regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.

Ms Monsoori said the mosque was the subject of profile reports that placed it in the “terrorism” category.

She told deputy High Court judge Richard Parkes QC: “This was wrong.

“The profile referred to press reports and allegations from many years ago, long before the mosque was reorganised and the claimant company was established.”

Following publication of the profile, the mosque’s bank “terminated its banking relationship and closed its account”.

Numerous other banks refused to accept the mosque, which played an important role in its local community, as a customer, said Ms Monsoori.

Its management company was unaware of the profile report until told about it by the BBC in June 2015.

Ms Monsoori said the company started proceedings for libel against Reuters Ltd in March 2016.

The agency had now admitted the profile report “made the false allegation that there were grounds to suspect that the claimant had continued connections to terrorism”.

The agency had stated it did not intend to suggest “that the claimant had any current or suspected connections to terrorism and any such suggestions have now been withdrawn by the defendant which has made clear its regret”.

Ms Monsoori said it had removed the defamatory allegations and agreed to pay damages and the mosque company’s legal costs to settle the legal action.

Oliver Murphy, appearing for Reuters, said he confirmed everything Ms Monsoori had said, adding: “The defendant is here today through me to express its regret for publishing the allegations.”

Finsbury Park Mosque said in a statement: “It is unacceptable that any organisation is able to designate people as terrorists on the basis of poor research and for those people to be labelled without any recourse to truth or justice.”

Court reporting by Press Association

Latest Islington News Stories

58 minutes ago

Thousands of people returned to Caledonian Road for its glorious street party yesterday.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Barnard Park in Barnsbury is one of Islington’s biggest – and therefore most important – green spaces. Naturally, people have been quarrelling about it from the very offset. The Gazette looks through the archives to see how the park developed.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The chapel at Islington’s Trent Park Cemetery in Cockfosters had to close because its windows kept getting smashed – but will be open on Father’s Day.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A huge project to build a social housing block on the Golden Lane estate will go ahead after the council agreed to fund it with £7million of unspent Right to Buy cash.

Friday, June 15, 2018

It’s the 10th anniversary of Ben Kinsella’s senseless murder on June 29. The anti-knife crime trust set up in his name is marking the tragedy with a 10k walk in his memory.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Seven film club pupils from Vittoria Primary School in Barnsbury made their own film – and had it shown in Paris at the Cinémathèque Française, the French equivalent of the BFI.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Robbery offences increased by 73 per cent in Islington in the past year, new figures show.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A conman from Highbury has been jailed for his part in tricking elderly and vulnerable people into withdrawing money.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now