Craig Murray Website Shut Down in UK Libel Dispute

by Laurence on 9/23/2007 · 1 comment

The Times (UK) reports that Uzbek millionaire Alisher Usmanov’s solicitors, Schillings, have forced Craig Murray’s webhost, Fasthosts Internet, to shut down the former British ambassador’s website in a libel dispute–a move that blacked-out the website of Conservative MP (and candidate for London Mayor) Boris Johnson:

Mr Johnson was furious: “This is London not Uzbekistan. It is unbelievable that a website can be wiped out [by] some tycoon. We live in a world where internet communication is increasingly vital, and this is a serious erosion of free speech.” But Mr Usmanov’s spokesman blamed a technical glitch by the web host. “There were certain statements on one individual site which we asked were removed because they were potentially defamatory.”

Fasthosts Internet said: “The customer was repeatedly advised of the breach and upon failing to permanently remove the content in question their customer account was terminated, the unfortunate result being the possible downtime of other unrelated websites of which we understand was one.”

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{ 1 comment }

Brian September 24, 2007 at 11:14 am

I read Craig Murray’s post on Usmanov. Yes, it’s full of vitriol, but it’s no more inflammatory than a hundred other things I’ve seen written on the web. I’d like to know what Usmanov thinks is libelous about it.

Doesn’t matter, it’s a blessing for Mr. Murray. I think there is likely some truth to what he claims, but even were there not, having his website shut down makes Murray look like an oppressed victim and Usmanov look like a thug. The whole story has exploded since Murray’s site shut down. Talk about poor judgement on Usmanov’s part.

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