Monday, November 09, 2009

London Times on Libel Tourism: 'Britain Is a Pariah State ... Exploited By the Unsavory'

The Times of London has been running a hard-hitting series on the threat to free speech caused by libel tourism, in which a foreign plaintiff goes to a foreign court to sue a U.S. citizen on libel allegations that would never stand up in a U.S. court.

I've been sued in Brazil, for example, on the ridiculous charge that I insulted the "dignity" of that country by my reporting and commentary, mostly on a blog written in the U.S. for an American readership, after the 2006 mid-air collision over the Amazon that I was one of seven survivors of. (154 others died).

The Brazil suit is an obvious attempt to intimidate and seek to punish me, and to warn others. I think it's also meant to inflame domestic emotions again in Brazil during the ongoing criminal trial, on trumped-up charges, of the two American pilots of the business jet, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino.

But Brazil aside, the major crush of the libel tourism outrages, so far, has been in Britain. And some people in the U.S., including major media, are pushing back.

This blast against Britain's odious libel courts is in tomorrow's Times of London.


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