Independent hit with Lebanese libel action

As reported on MediaGuardian and the Lebanese Daily Star, The Independent is being sued by Beirut hotel The Mayflower over suggestions its guest-list included people responsible for arming Lebanese militia.

The offending article, written by well-respected journalist Robert Fisk, claimed that ‘Secret armies pose sinister new threat to Lebanon’ and suggested that anyone checking the guest register at the hotel would be able to confirm the presence of militias in the Lebanese capital.

Following complaints by the hotel’s owner Sherif Samaha, this reference was removed from the online version of the original article. This has not placated Mr Samaha who has instructed lawyers in the UK to commence proceedings against the Independent along with Lebanese French language magazine L’ebdo which translated and reprinted the original article.

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