Adviser accepts damages over newspaper's al-Qa'ida claims

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The Independent Online

A government adviser on combating extremism among young Muslims today accepted substantial undisclosed damages over a newspaper claim that he supported al-Qa'ida.

Systems engineer Inayat Bunglawala, who lives in Luton, is a spokesman at the Muslim Council of Britain and, in 2005, was appointed one of seven conveners for a Home office taskforce.



He brought libel proceedings over a March 2009 Mail on Sunday article which alleged there were strong grounds to suspect him of unlawfully stabbing a man at his home in December 2008, and that he was an extremist who supported Abu Qatada and al-Qa'ida.



His solicitor, Stevie Loughrey, told Mr Justice Eady at London's High Court that Mr Bunglawala did not commit any criminal act in relation to the December 2008 incident.



As Associated Newspapers now accepted, he was forced to act in self-defence to protect himself and his family against an intruder, who it later turned out was so drunk he had no recollection of the incident.



Just 24 hours after publication, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it would be taking no action against Mr Bunglawala.



Mr Loughrey said that his client did not support or condone the views or objectives of Abu Qatada or al-Qa'ida and had gone on the record many times to criticise and condemn al-Qa'ida.



He added that the newspaper had accepted the allegations were false, apologised and agreed to pay substantial damages and Mr Bunglawala's costs.

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