RAMALLAH, September 25 (JMCC) - Yasser Abbas, son of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the owners of Foreign Policy
magazine, charging them with libel, reports the
This summer, Foreign Policy
published an article that suggested the Abbas sons had been enriched by their relationship to their father, obtaining lucrative international contracts for the companies they own. Only Yasser is listed in the court filing as a plaintiff, however, reported the blog.
Abbas' business ventures, according to the complaint, have included tobacco distribution, construction consulting and insurance. Abbas' brother Tarek is also referenced in the article but he isn't a plaintiff in the case.
In a statement provided by Abbas' counsel at New York's Melito & Adolfsen, Abbas said that Schanzer's article used "deliberate entailments and fabricated exposures" to mix politics with Abbas' private life. Schanzer and a spokeswoman for Foreign Policy declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
The one thing Abbas agreed with in Schanzer's article, according to the complaint, is that he's had financial success as a businessman for a number of years. But Abbas asserted that it had nothing to do with his father's leadership of the Palestinian government and that any contracts he received were justly earned.
Abbas accused Schanzer of not contacting him for comment and of relying on untrustworthy sources of information. Abbas accused Schanzer of acting with malice and pursuing an agenda against the brothers, even though he also contended that he's a private citizen and not a public figure, so we wouldn't need to prove actual malice to win.
"The [Foreign Policy] article has caused, is causing, and will cause Plaintiff to suffer injury to his standing, to his reputation and good name; and will continue to hold Plaintiff up to public scorn, hatred and ridicule," Abbas argued in his complaint. "Plaintiff worked hard his entire life to build his reputation long before his father was President of the Palestinian Authority."