Multi-millionaire Kensington businessman Issam Hoirani wins £80,000 damages for defamation & harassment over the ‘sustained, highly sophisticated, cynical and calculated’ campaign. The campaign alleged that the Lebanese businessman was murderer of Anastasiya Novikova, a journalist who worked for NTK television in Kazakhstan.
Issam Hourani, the well-known entrepreneur and businessman from Lebanon was alleged to be involved in the death of TV presenter Anastasiya Novikova. Ms. Novikova, 23, was found dead under mysterious circumstances on June 19, 2004. Mr. Hourani was wrongly linked with the death of this Russian TV Star and was alleged as her ‘murderer’. This caused ‘devastating’ effects to his personal and professional terms and greatly damaged his reputation.
Hourani sued over the case; the case was brought in the London’s High Court where Mr. Hourani’s counsel, Heather Rogers QC was able reveal that the campaign was ‘designed’ to defame and harass Hourani. The judge ruled that the allegations were “untenable”, and that Hourani is not involved in the death of Novikova.
During the 10 days trial, it was also revealed that the overall campaign was organised and managed by US-based John Michael Waller for money and as per the instructions of client(s) whose identity is yet to be disclosed. Psybersolutions is the name of the company that was controlled by Waller and used by him to cater to the needs of the campaign targeted to damage the rapport of Issam Hourani. Warby J awarded damages of £50,000 to Hourani for defamation and £30,000 for harassment.
Mr. Hourani stated that he is delighted with the ruling. He further stated that this judgement is the crucial step that will aid in repairing the damage that has been done. Court has also made judgement to disclose the name of the client(s). And so, the battle is not over yet.