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Libyan wins £83K damages over Manchester arena bombing story

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image copyrightPA
image captionTwenty-two people died in the Manchester Arena bomb

A Libyan man arrested in connection with the Manchester Arena bombing has been awarded £83,000 in damages after his details were published online.

Alaedeen Sicri, 26, was held but later released without charge following the attack in 2017 which killed 22 people.

He was not identified by Greater Manchester Police but the MailOnline published his name, images and other details after his arrest on 29 May.

A High Court judge ruled his rights had been "violated" in doing so.

Mr Sicri sued MailOnline's publisher Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) for damages for alleged misuse of private information after it named him, said he was a "trainee Libyan pilot" and used two photographs of him, taken from his own Facebook page.

Mr Justice Mark Warby ruled Mr Sicri "had a right to expect the defendant would not publish his identity" and ANL "violated that right" by identifying him.

He said ANL "had no, or no sufficient, public interest justification" for identifying him.

'Ended my career'

He awarded Mr Sicri £50,000 in general damages to compensate for the "wrongful disclosure, the consequent loss of status, and the distress, anxiety and other emotional harm that this caused" and £33,000 in "special damages for financial losses caused by the wrongful act".

In November, the High Court heard Mr Sicri, who was living in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex at the time, suffered "extreme and severe distress" after being identified and moved away because he was "frightened for his safety".

The hearing was told the Arena bomber Salman Abedi had called Mr Sicri's phone before the attack but he was "innocent of any involvement in the attack".

In a statement after the ruling, Mr Sicri said his "name should never have been made public by the press".

"I was 23 at the time of the publication and had just finished training as a pilot, but the publicity ended my career."

His solicitor Tamsin Allen said the judgment "makes it clear arrested people have a right to privacy and the media may not identify [them] unless there are special circumstances".

In a separate High Court case, Mr Sicri accepted "substantial" damages from the publisher of The Argus newspaper in Brighton in 2018 over false allegations in a report which said he was an "Isis sympathiser".

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Related Topics

  • Shoreham-by-Sea
  • Manchester
  • Libya

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  • Libyan man sues MailOnline over Manchester Arena bombing story

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