The fact that said head of state and his country go completely unnamed in this story is only the tip of the iceberg on the strangeness of this case. “Head of state ‘funded al-Qaeda and knew of 7/7 terror attacks’,” by Christopher Hope and Robert Winnett for the Telegraph, February 25 (thanks to Alan):
A Parliamentary committee published a document revealing the details of one of Britain’s last remaining super-injunctions.
In the submission to the 26-member committee, Mark Burby, a businessman based in the Channel Islands, claimed that he had been gagged by the “ex-spouse of an Asian head of state” in 2009.
He said the “Asian head of state” “” who he does not identify “” was a “substantial” backer of al-Qaeda, and had advance warning of the suicide bombings on London’s transport system in 2005.
The ex-wife “and her solicitors have boasted to me and others that she ‘owns” the courts in England and Wales and the Government”, he said.
Mr Burby alleged the unnamed ex-spouse, whom he described as one of the wealthiest women in the world, had a sexual relationship “with one of her two solicitors”, as well as two other men, one of which resulted in her having to have an abortion.
On Friday night lawyers for the claimant threatened The Daily Telegraph with an injunction, but failed to make any application.
The decision by the committee to post the claims on the parliamentary website, represents another challenge to the supremacy of the courts after injunctions involving Ryan Giggs, the footballer, and Sir Fred Goodwin, the banker, were also exposed by MPs.
According to Mr Burby the super-injunction governed six general areas including “information/allegations concerning any personal relationship of any kind between the claimant and a man who is not her ex-husband”.
The gagging order covered any “information/allegations” relating to the ex-wife’s attempt to secure payment of monies owed by her family, as well as “any allegation that the claimant was involved in or responsible for” a murder, he says.
Mr Burby said he felt compelled to provide the information to Parliament’s joint committee on privacy and injunctions after Kenneth Clarke, the Lord Chancellor, had told MPs and peers that super-injunctions “are now being granted only for very short periods” and “you cannot have just long-running secret litigation”.
Mr Burby said: “That of course is incorrect as the super-injunction against me has been in place since Sept 9 2009. None of the interim rulings made by the judges in these proceedings have been published, even in an anonymised or redacted form.”
John Whittingdale, the committee’s chairman, said on Friday that Mr Burby”s evidence was an “interesting and relevant submission”, given that his committee had been told by judges that the super-injunctions were now “time-limited” only.
“The points he makes are valid,” he said. “It is very difficult for him to make those points without some reference to his own position.”
Mr Burby set out other allegations, published on the committee’s website, that he said were “pleaded by the claimant as being private and/or confidential but that are not expressly covered by the terms of the super-injunction (but are impliedly covered by it)”.
They included “that the claimant’s ex-husband, as a head of state, sympathised with and supported Islamic fundamentalists; that the claimant knew or suspected from conversations with her ex-husband that there would be major terrorist attacks on the UK (7/7) and Israel.
“That the claimant’s ex-Âhusband flew a senior member of al-Qaeda to the country of which he is head of state and gave him substantial funding for al-Qaeda.”
Mr Burby raised a number of other allegations and said that if these were untrue, “then the proper course is for the claimant to sue in defamation”.
He added: “The claimant has been using her immense wealth to harass and bully people with overpowering UK legal process under the protection of a web of interlocking super-injunctions.
“The claimant boasted to a member of staff (who has provided a witness statement) about the assassination of an opponent engaged in litigation against her in another jurisdiction and saying that ‘Burby” was next.”
News of the gagging order is the latest in a series that have allowed celebrities to cover up sexual scandals using super-injunctions, the very existence of which cannot be reported.