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IrelandPalestinian politician to pursue defamation case against Facebook in Irish High Court

08:25  13 september  2019
08:25  13 september  2019 Source:   thejournal.ie

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A PALESTINIAN POLITICIAN plans to pursue a defamation case against Facebook in the High Court in Dublin. Mohammed Dahlan, who once served as an adviser to Yasser Arafat, has turned the focus of the case to Ireland after ending legal proceedings in the High Court in London on Monday.

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Palestinian politician to pursue defamation case against Facebook in Irish High Court © Silwadi Osama ABACA PA Images Mohammed Dahlan pictured in 2007.

A PALESTINIAN POLITICIAN plans to pursue a defamation case against Facebook in the High Court in Dublin.

Mohammed Dahlan, who once served as an adviser to Yasser Arafat, has turned the focus of the case to Ireland after ending legal proceedings in the High Court in London on Monday.

Dahlan took legal action against the British-based publication Middle East Eye over an article which he claims made a number of false allegations about him.

Dahlan is a well-known political figure in the Middle East and previously served as a key leader of political party Fatah, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, in Gaza.

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The Irish High Court released its judgement in a case against Facebook . The court agreed with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s (DPC) concerns and found that channels that Facebook and other companies use for data transfer from the EU to the US might be illegal. The reason it might be

Some local politicians still see the value in pursuing defamation cases . That's why defamation suits among public figures are so rare, and between politicians even more so. Smarter politics is knowing how to work the court of public opinion.

His lawyers told TheJournal.ie they “discontinued the action” in London “because our client was satisfied with the information we had learned throughout the course of the litigation”. The case did not go to trial.

However, David Hearst, Middle East Eye’s editor-in-chief, said the discontinuation of the case amounts to their journalism being “fully vindicated”.

Following the outcome of the case in London, Dahlan’s lawyers have moved their focus to Dublin and how the article was distributed on Facebook.

Dahlan’s solicitor Paul Tweed said his client “will continue vigorously to pursue his legal action against Facebook in the High Court in Dublin, for facilitating the further and more extensive international dissemination of these false allegations and for inaccurately disseminating his data”.

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The court said that wider legal questions – such as whether the network could be obliged to be more proactive in such cases – overstepped the scope of the current Mr Jun said the case had shown the urgent need for “antique” defamation legislation to be updated to cover new social media platforms.

In a defamation case , a court will categorize a plaintiff as either a general public figure, a limited public figure, or a private citizen. For those same reasons, the court of public opinion rather than a court of law continues to present the preferred arena for setting the record straight.

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Dahlan issued separate High Court legal proceedings against Facebook in July 2017 and January 2019. Facebook’s Dublin office is the company’s headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The 2017 proceedings relate to the same Middle East Eye article, which was shared on Facebook. Dahlan’s lawyers argue that Facebook is a publisher itself and should also be held to account if defamatory claims are read and shared via the website.

The 2019 proceedings relate to articles published by Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak that made a number of allegations linking Dahlan to events after the death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The claims, which Dahlan vigorously denies, included that Dahlan helped to hide traces of Khashoggi’s murder.

Dahlan’s lawyers said the 2017 case is currently their primary focus and further progressed than the 2019 proceedings.

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The Irish High Court is going to review whether the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's refusal to investigate Facebook 's involvement with the U.S. government surveillance program Prism was lawful. Currently, the group is only pursuing the case against Facebook in Ireland.

The trial, one of several notable cases against Facebook in Germany, highlights several basic legal questions, such as who is responsible for content posted by anonymous sources and whether people who repost text they did not write, or an image that someone else altered

Facebook had not replied to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

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