U.S. Courts Can’t Help Author In U.K. Libel Case

     ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) – The state appeals court has denied author Rachel Ehrenfeld’s bid to have a U.S. court declare that a libel judgment against her in the U.K. over statements in her book about terrorist funding is unenforceable in the United States.

     The allegedly libelous statements in her book “Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Finance – and How to Stop It” asserted that Saudi bank executive Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz provided funding to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
     Mahfouz sued Ehrenfeld in U.K. court, a venue the author claims was chosen based on more favorable libel laws for the plaintiff.
     Ehrenfeld failed to appear in court, and a verdict was entered against her.
     Ehrenfeld then sued Mahfouz in federal court in New York, seeking a declaration that the U.K. judgment is unenforceable under New York’s long-arm statute.
     The case made it to the 2nd Circuit, which remanded to determine if the long-arm statute gives personal jurisdiction over Mahfouz’s action.
     The court ruled that is does not, noting that it was not ruling on English libel law, only on whether U.S. courts have jurisdiction over the libel lawsuit. See ruling.

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