When British newspapers apologized to Saudi princes

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Okaz newspaper

IN 2007, a British newspaper published a false report about Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. This report was one of a series of lies and rumors spread by Western newspapers in retaliation against Prince Bandar's role in confronting the Iranian terror in the region, which is supported by Qatar and carried out by the Hezbollah militia.

Prince Bandar at that time was the head of the Saudi national security and the Saudi Arabian intelligence. He was involved in a security and intelligence war against the forces of evil in the region and against the terrorist nexus led by Iran.

This was to protect the Saudi Judiciary against Iranian infiltration after the fall of Iraq and the emergence of the Shiite political crescent, which started in Tehran and passed through Baghdad, Damascus and then Beirut, which has a heavy concentration of Shiites in the southern part of the city.

Before the reports in the Guardian and BBC, the Hezbollah militia and Syrian mercenaries had assassinated more than 75 Lebanese politicians, most prominent among them former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Prince Bandar was the number one enemy of the nexus that was controlled by Iran. Qatar controlled the character assassination campaigns, which is a role it has been playing for a long time targeting kings and princes.

Qatar has special capabilities in engaging in illegitimate wars. The Qataris carry it out through foreign media networks, which they bought with their dirty money.

The roles were coordinated between Damascus, southern Beirut, Doha and Tehran. The Hezbollah terrorists were getting help from their minions in the Arab region to spread lies and rumors through newspapers controlled by the group in Beirut. Qatar's role was to recycle these reports through its Al-Jazeera channel, which then were picked up by Western newspapers. They are playing the same game today.

Prince Bandar, in line with media regulations prevailing in the West, assigned a legal office to file a libel lawsuit against the British newspaper. The newspaper did not expect such a move from the part of the prince. It thought he would not go beyond the threat of taking action and to engage in a legal battle with a newspaper of its size. Prince Bandar was confident of his innocence and knew very well who was behind fabricating this news and who bribed the newspaper to publish it. He insisted on following up the case himself until he won and forced the newspaper to apologize and pay financial compensation.

This was not the first time a Saudi prince won a case against a major Western newspaper. Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz, then crown prince and interior minister, filed a lawsuit against another British newspaper, The Independent, after it published a fake document claiming that the prince had issued orders to security forces to crush demonstrations in the Kingdom. There were no demonstrations taking place anywhere in Saudi Arabia at that point.

Prince Naif won the case against the newspaper, and according to BBC, it apologized for publishing a column by Lebanon-based British writer Robert Fisk. It retracted the fake news that was attributed to Prince Naif. The newspaper was also forced to publish the apology and rebuttal in their print and online editions.

According to BBC, the lawyer of Prince Naif said the British writer and the newspaper acknowledged that the document was fake, apologized in court and agreed to retract the report. The newspaper was made to bear the court expenses and it paid Prince Naif a financial compensation, which the prince transferred to charity organizations.

The lawyer added that even celebrated journalists made mistakes but what was important was their willingness to apologize when the mistake was detected.

Today, Saudi Arabia and its leaders face the same old battle with the same enemies through the same mechanism of spreading fake news and rumors. I wish a lawsuit was filed against these dishonest people, who are bribed by Qatari money, and the same judicial tools were used to hold them accountable.


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