Anti-war British MP slaps libel notice on Canadian minister

May 2nd, 2009 - 11:15 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 2 (IANS) An anti-war British MP, who was denied entry into Canada in March for his alleged support to terrorists and links to the Palestinian Hamas movement, has launched a libel suit against Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
In his defamation notice to the minister, his top aide and two Jewish leaders, George Galloway, who is a Scottish MP in the British House of Commons, says the respondents made false statements about his links to Hamas to deny him entry into Canada for speaking engagements in March.

These statements, he says in his seven-page defamation notice, got publicity worldwide and damaged his reputation.

The 54-year-old MP, who was kicked out of the British Labour Party for urging British troops not to fight in Iraq in 2003, says: “They (statements) are not only untrue, they are outrageous. As an elected member of the British Parliament, I am compelled to exercise my legal right to clear my name.”

The controversial MP, who was also suspended from the British Parliament for a few days in 2007 for taking money from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to set up a charity, says: “I welcome robust criticism, but the comments made about me crossed the line.”

“It is pretty obvious he has to sue…he’s been accused of being a financier of international terrorism - you could hardly get a more defamatory or grievous allegation than that,” a spokesman for the British MP told the Canadian Press from London Friday.

In his defamation notice, the British MP has given the Canadian minister and others three days to apologise or face libel suit.

Canada slammed the doors on Galloway in March, citing his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and open support for Hamas which is banned in this country as a terrorist organisation.

The Canadian government alleged that Galloway gave $45,000 to the Hamas government during the Israeli blockade.

Under Canadian laws, anyone supporting a terrorist organization is barred from entering the country.

Galloway, who is now an independent MP, was invited by pro-Palestinian groups, trade unions and anti-war groups to speak in four Canadian cities.

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