A PUBLISHING giant has paid out compensation and apologised for printing an academic book which accused a Saudi businessman of funding terrorism.
Cambridge University Press has also destroyed all unsold copies of Alms for Jihad and has written to 200 libraries worldwide asking them to withdraw the book from their shelves.
Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz, started libel proceedings against the Cambridge University Press following the publication of 1,500 copies of Alms for Jihad in April 2006, which made a series of allegations, including that he and his family had supported Osama Bin Laden and funded terrorist activities.
A settlement was agreed in the High Court after Cambridge University Press accepted there was no truth in the allegations.
Kevin Taylor, Intellectual Property Director at Cambridge University Press, said they had agreed to pay out a "fairly small amount" in compensation, and will publish an apology on their website.
He said three expert academics read books before they are published, and pay particular attention to those with controversial issues, but said: "unfortunately this one slipped through the net."
"We publish 1,500 academic books a year and take every effort to ensure this sort of thing does not happen," he said.
Sheikh Khalid, who for many years was chairman of Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank, had previously been successful in two High Court cases on similar subjects.
Laurence Harris, partner at Kendall Freeman, solicitors acting for Sheikh Khalid, said: "Sheikh Khalid welcomes this settlement. When this book was published Sheikh Khalid had no choice but to issue proceedings to put to rest these very serious and false allegations.
"He is pleased Cambridge University Press recognised there was no truth whatsoever in the allegations, and that his reputation has been vindicated. He will be donating the substantial damages and costs paid by Cambridge University Press to UNICEF."