The Dutch Court of Appeal, Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, ruled in Dahabshiil’s favour in their case against Dahir Alasow.
Dahabshiil issued legal proceedings in October 2012 against Mr Alasow, a Somali individual now living in the Netherlands, in relation to the publication of a number of defamatory articles about Dahabshiil authored by the defendant on various Somali websites, in particular Sunatimes, ASOJ and Waagacusub, over a substantial period.
The court on 16 December ruled that these allegations were defamatory of Dahabshiil and should not have been published. As a result the court ordered Mr Alasow to remove various articles and publish a full retraction confirming the unsubstantiated and damaging nature of these claims. The court has also ordered Mr Alasow to send a rectification email in similar terms to a large group of people that he contacted several years ago with similar allegations. It also ordered Mr Alasow to pay Dahabshiil’s costs and set a daily penalty in case Mr Alasow did not comply with the judgement.
Unfortunately, although Mr Alasow has now published the retraction on his website and has sent the rectification email, he has still not complied fully with the court’s Order. As a result, bailiffs and the Dutch police attended Mr Alasow’s property [Febraury 3, 2015] to collect payment of Dahabshiil’s costs, and will be attending again in the future to collect the penalty which Mr Alasow owes for breaching the Order.
A Dahabshiil spokesperson said: “We welcome the court’s decision. Mr Alasow has repeatedly attempted to do serious damage to the business and we are delighted that we have been vindicated by the court, which has held these claims to be untrue and defamatory. Dahabshiil has an excellent relationship with the Western and Somali media and we were very reluctant to enter into litigation with Mr Alasow. In the end though, his persistent and vindictive campaign against Dahabshiil left us with no choice; we will not give in to bullies.”