Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Charity worker wins libel payout

A community worker has accepted "substantial" undisclosed libel damages over a claim Children in Need money was passed to the 7/7 bombers.

Hanif Malik took legal action over a report broadcast on the BBC's Newsnight programme last August.

The report alleged funds given to a charity Mr Malik was connected to were passed to men responsible for the attacks, London's High Court heard.

The BBC apologised for the broadcast of the allegation.

Mr Malik is involved with the Leeds Initiative Board, Voluntary Action Leeds, the Leeds Initiative Regeneration Board, Leeds Voice and the Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Beeston.

His solicitor, Louis Charalambous, told the court the programme alleged funds from Children in Need, which were paid to a charitable organisation called Leeds Community School, had been improperly diverted to a bookshop to assist the production of radical Islamist propaganda and to give financial support to some of the men who were responsible for the 2005 London bombings.

He said: "Although the BBC did not identify Mr Malik by name in its report, he may have been identifiable to some viewers because of his close connections with Leeds Community School as the then chairman of trustees."

He added the BBC fully accepted Mr Malik's assurance that no Children in Need money was passed to the bookshop or the bombers and was not used to pay for any propaganda.

It apologised for causing him distress and damage to his reputation, and agreed to pay him a substantial sum in compensation and his legal costs.

The BBC's counsel, Kate Wilson, told the court it apologised for the broadcast of the allegation and the distress and embarrassment suffered.

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