RFL/RE – A London court has ordered Iran’s state-run Press TV to pay 338,000 pounds ($435,000) in libel damages to a member of the British Parliament.
The court ruled the Iran TV channel had falsely accused Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi in a July 2015 report of facilitating oil trades for the Islamic State (IS) militant group with Israel and European countries.
The court noted the libelous accusation against Zahawi was removed from Press TV’s English-language website in August 2016.
But it said the false report had been heavily repeated elsewhere before it was taken down.
Press TV reportedly did not defend itself against the libel charge.
The London court initially ruled in December 2016 that Press TV was guilty of libel in the case.
Zahawi, an Iraqi-born ethnic Kurd who moved to Britain as a child, said in December that the Press TV report was “deeply upsetting, worrying, and unexpected.”
He said “the accusation was clearly calculated to be as damaging as possible to someone from my background.”
The Guardian newspaper in January reported that Zahawi is director of an oil company operating in Iraq’s Kurdish region.