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UK appeals court upholds oil-for-food libel judgment favoring MP

[JURIST] A British appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's order [judgment text] that the Daily Telegraph [media website] pay damages and legal costs to British MP George Galloway [BBC profile] after it found the newspaper had libeled Galloway by alleging that he took money from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein under the now-defunct UN Oil-for-Food program [official website; JURIST news archive]. The appeals court rejected the Telegraph's defense that it was in the public interest to publish information on the documents that incriminated Galloway, saying that the newspaper had not just reported on the documents, but had adopted and embellished their contents. A UN report alleged that Galloway received allocations for 18 billion barrels of Iraq oil [JURIST report] through the program. Galloway has also been accused of accepting kickbacks in a US Senate probe of the oil-for-food scandal [JURIST report], but has continually denied the charges. Britain's Serious Fraud Office [official website] is reviewing the results of a UN investigation [final report; UN materials] into the program, but has not yet decided whether to proceed with a full criminal investigation [BBC report]. The Guardian has more.

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