So as to avoid their severe sentencing, Mr Jean-Charles Brisard & Mr Guillaume Dasquié signed a draft-agreement with Ben Mahfouz’s family lawyers to put an end to the current legal proceedings. Furthermore, they published the following statement:
We, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, are the authors of Forbidden Truth, a book circulated widely since it was first published in the autumn of 2001. I, Jean Charles-Brisard, am also the author of a Report entitled Terrorism Financing published in December 2002.
The Book and the Report contain very serious and highly defamatory allegations about Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz, alleging support for terrorism through their businesses, families and charities, and directly. As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your families, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false.
The allegations were based on information which we have now been able to establish has been largely withdrawn or refuted in the intervening years since Forbidden Truth was first published, and to our knowledge has never been verified. We did not anticipate at the time the Book and the Report were written that the information which we relied upon would later be withdrawn or refuted. Notwithstanding research into terrorism financing, we have learnt nothing since the publication of the Book and the Report which suggests there is any evidence supporting the allegations. We therefore now unreservedly withdraw all of the allegations about you both in the Book and the Report and confirm that we will never repeat them.
We appreciate the very serious damage that has been caused to your reputations by these allegations. We also accept that the allegations caused you and your family very great distress. For all of this we are truly sorry.