THE libel action brought by a Syrian schoolboy against far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson is “imminent”, the lad’s lawyer said yesterday.
Jamal is suing Robinson over his claims that the refugee had violently attacked white schoolgirls.
Tommy Robinson will face a libel lawsuit following comments he made online about a Syrian schoolboy[/caption]
The founder of the English Defence League made the comments after a video of Jamal being “waterboarded” by another pupil at his school went viral.
In response to the outpouring of sympathy for the teen, Robinson accused him of “not being that innocent” and claimed he had “hit a girl with a hockey stick”.
He said: “He violently attacked young English girls in his school. Why is this kid being portrayed as the ultimate victim in the entire country?”
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, later admitted he had been duped over the claims.
He told his 970,000 Facebook followers: “I have been completely had, how embarrassing man.”
Jamal’s lawyer said last year the claims were false and announced plans to sue – and yesterday he revealed the case is now set to come to court.
Mr Yaxley-Lennon made some defamatory comments about my client…they were untrue comments so we are [suing] him
Tasnime Akunjee said: “It will be happening imminently. The case is libel proceedings at the High Court in London over the claims that Jamal had attacked school girls.
“We are pressing ahead with it.”
At the time of Robinson’s comments Mr Akunjee said: “Mr Yaxley-Lennon made some defamatory comments about my client. He spread those across the internet, they were untrue comments so we are [suing] him.”
The waterboarding incident happened on October 25 last year at Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
In the video, shot on a school playing field, Jamal is seen with his arm in a cast after his wrist was broken in an earlier incident.
He is headbutted and then dragged to the ground by his neck before his attacker pours a bottle of water over his face.
He shouts: “You little b*****d. I’ll drown you” as other pupils cheer.
A video of the incident went viral a month later. There was an outpouring of support for Jamal including from Prime Minister Theresa May.
‘I FELT ASHAMED OF MYSELF’
Jamal, who fled fighting in Syria with his family, said: “When I saw everyone looking at this video, I felt ashamed of myself and why it happened. I was really upset about that.”
A boy of 16 last month accepted a police caution for assault over the incident.
Jamal, now aged 16, and his family have since moved away from Huddersfield and are making a new life for themselves elsewhere in the UK.
Mr Akunjee said: “He is much more positive. He is in a new school. He is building some roots and building his life now.”
Robinson, 35, from Luton, Bedfordshire, co-founded the English Defence League in 2009 and was recently appointed as an adviser to UKIP. He is standing for election as an MEP in the European elections next month.
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His YouTube, Facebook and Instagram profiles have been removed because they violated the social media giants’ policies to combat organised hate.
Jamal’s lawyer also intends to sue Facebook for not stopping Robinson posting his comments about the lad.
There is no court date for the first hearing yet but Mr Akunjee said he anticipates that the “court process will kick off within a fortnight”.
Jamal fled Syria to get away from the brutal civil war – but described his school in Huddersfield as a ‘war zone’[/caption]
Jamal’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said they are planning on suing Robinson for the ‘untrue comments’ he shared online[/caption]
Jamal was filmed being ‘waterboarded’ while at Almondbury Community School[/caption]
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