Express Newspapers has recently apologised in the High Court to Inayat Bunglawala, an Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, over false allegations of extremism which appeared in an article concerning Prince Harry’s active service in Afghanistan. The newspaper, which had already published a full and prominent apology both in its hard copy and online editions, has also paid Mr Bunglawala £45,000 in libel damages, together with his legal costs. In a front-page article published on 1 March 2008 and entitled “TARGET HARRY – BRITISH FANATICS THREATEN HIM”, the Daily Express purported to quote comments made by Mr Bunglawala in his capacity as a spokesman for the MCB. Taken in the context of the article as a whole, those quotes would have been understood to suggest that Mr Bunglawala was a fanatical extremist who was inciting or, at the very least, condoning a terrorist attack upon Prince Harry, and that he considered the Prince to be a fair and legitimate target for terrorists. In today’s Statement before Mr Justice Eady his solicitor told the Court that Express Newspapers had accepted that the allegations were false and should never have been published. In fact, the quote attributed to Mr Bunglawala in the article was incomplete and out of context. As had been correctly reported in other media, Mr Bunglawala had in fact made clear his wish that Prince Harry should be brought home safely from Afghanistan, out of harm’s way.

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