Terror Expert, Rich Sheik In Part 2 Of Court Fight

By nydailynews.com | by Thomas Lipscomb & Maki Becker
Thursday, March 10th, 2005 @ 8:29PM

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A New York terrorism expert is charging that a Saudi billionaire used a foreign court to try to silence her claim that he helped finance terror groups. In her book “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It,” Rachel Ehrenfeld alleged that Sheik Khalid Salim a bin Mahfouz helped fund terror sects. Mahfouz, who has successfully sued similar accusers for libel, won a default judgment from a London court when Ehrenfeld declined to respond to his suit. Ehrenfeld has now sued the sheik in Manhattan Federal Court, seeking to block the British judgment. “If American authors can be silenced by actions of foreign courts in their own home jurisdiction in the United States, what use are the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech?” Ehrenfeld asked. The author believes Mahfouz sued her in the England because libel laws there place the burden of proof on the defendant. Armed with the Dec. 7 London judgement, Mahfouz is now asking for more than $175,000 in damages and legal costs and a retraction. Mahfouz has won at least three defamation or libel suits and forced dozens of corrections in various Publications, many over allegations of terror links. On his family’s Web site, Mahfouz says he is “increasingly angered” over such accusations. “There is no truth to these reports,” reads the statement. “We condemn terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations.” Former CIA Director James Woolsey called Ehrenfeld “a respected scholar, who, to my knowledge, does not make irresponsible charges.”

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