Dato Worawi Makudi v Baron Triesman of Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtQueen's Bench Division
JudgeMr Justice Tugendhat,THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE TUGENDHAT
Judgment Date01 February 2013
Neutral Citation[2013] EWHC 142 (QB)
Docket NumberCase No: HQ12X01690
Date01 February 2013

[2013] EWHC 142 (QB)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Before:

The Honourable Mr Justice Tugendhat

Case No: HQ12X01690

Between:
Dato Worawi Makudi
Claimant
and
Baron Triesman of Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey
Defendant

Andrew Goddard QC & Simon Crawshaw (instructed by Watson Farley & Williams LLP) for the Claimant

Ms Clare Kissin (instructed by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP) for the Defendant

Hearing date: 23 January 2013

Approved Judgment

I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of this Judgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.

THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE TUGENDHAT Mr Justice Tugendhat
1

The defendant applies to the court for an order that the claimant's claim for libel be struck out and summary judgment entered for the defendant. The claimant was at the material time the president of the Football Association Thailand and a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA"). The defendant is a member of the House of Lords. He was Chairman of the Football Association Limited ("FA") from January 2008 to May 2010. Between October 2008 and May 2010 he was Chairman of the England 2018 World Cup bid.

2

The claim form was issued on 2 May 2012, shortly before the expiry of the limitation period. It includes claims for both slander and libel. On 10 May 2011 the Defendant gave evidence to the Culture Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons ("the CMSC"). I shall refer to this as the Parliamentary evidence. The claim is not brought on the Parliamentary evidence, and could not be, because anything said in Parliament is protected by absolute privilege. But the Parliamentary evidence has been referred to outside Parliament, and the claims in this action arise out of those subsequent references.

THE PARLIAMENTARY EVIDENCE

3

In paragraph 3 of the Particulars of Claim it is pleaded that the Defendant gave the following evidence:

"[the defendant]: … The second area is about the conduct of some members of the FIFA executive… I would, if it was thought helpful by the Committee, go to the specifics of some things which were put to me personally, sometimes in the presence of others, which in my view did not represent proper and ethical behaviour on the part of those members of the committee. If that is helpful it is probably high time it was ventilated.

Q48 Chair: … That would be helpful, and I think the Committee would like to hear it.

[The defendant]: … The fourth example to bring to your attentions, Chairman, is this. We had a number of conversations with [the claimant], telephone conversations for the most part. He was eager to secure a match between the England team and the Thai team. … [He] said it would be a great honour if England came, and we talked about the possibilities, how it would fit in at the end of the season, what arrangements might be with the clubs. But the one thing that he did insist on was that one way or another the TV rights to the broadcast in the United Kingdom would go to him. I made the point that, broadly speaking, the right to games played overseas are owned by the federations or those in the countries where the game is played. It was not, in any case, in my view, something that we could or should organise, and I told him that. But that was what he believed was the critical thing to making the arrangement a success…

Q49 Chair: … How overt in your mind was the linkage in each of the four cases between what was being asked for and the promise of a vote for the England bid?

[The defendant]: In the first three examples they all took place absolutely in the context of formal approaches about the bid… I think that with [the claimant], it might be argued that the events were potentially different, but it is hard not to think that a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, who is potentially seeking what might be a very lucrative arrangement around a football match, is unaware of the idea settling in my mind, or in the minds of people in this country who are responsible for the bid, that these things would be linked…

Q52 Chair: So you felt that to make a complaint that some members of the Executive Committee were being unduly influenced by what can best be described as bribes, and to pursue that the only result would be to absolutely ensure England stood no chance at all?

[The defendant]: Yes Not only that, but when you listen to some of the things that members of the Committee said when The Sunday Times and then Panorama quite rightly, in my judgment, published the evidence they had about corrupt practices, the response was immediately that if we in England, including our media, behave like that, "Then you cannot expect any support from us"…

Q54 Chair: On the basis of your experience, both in terms of your direct contact with certain members, and indeed from having observed the process, do you think that the outcome of the 2018 and 2022 contests was unduly influenced by improper behaviour on behalf of some members of the Executive Committee?

[The Defendant]: I think it will have been influenced to some extent…"

4

This and other passages of the Parliamentary evidence are set out in the Particulars of Claim. A full (uncorrected) transcript of the Parliamentary evidence is annexed to the Particulars of Claim.

5

Following the Parliamentary evidence, there was much publicity about what the defendant had said. The FA resolved to conduct an investigation into the defendant's allegations. On 12 May, the FA appointed James Dingemans QC to conduct a review for that purpose. On 20 May and 25 May 2011 he interviewed the defendant.

THE PARTICULARS OF CLAIM

6

There are four publications complained of in this action. They have been referred as Publications 1, 2, 3 and 4. The defendant's oral evidence given to Mr Dingemans on 20 May 2011, the slander, has been referred to as "Publication 1" and was pleaded in para 7(a). The defendant's written witness statement to Mr Dingemans pleaded in para 7(b) of the Particulars of Claim has been referred to as "Publication 2". The two further publications relied on, which have been referred to respectively as "Publication 3" and "Publication 4", are publications by Mr Dingemans himself to FIFA and to the FA. They are said to have been authorised by the defendant. These are pleaded respectively in paras 9 and 10 and 14 to 16 of the Particulars of Claim. There is a plea of malicious falsehood in paras 12–13 of the Particulars of Claim.

Publication 1

7

At the time the Particulars of Claim were signed at the end of August 2012 the claimant did not have a transcript of that interview. In the course of correspondence between solicitors a copy was provided to the claimant in December 2012.

8

It is now submitted by Mr Goddard that the words used by the defendant in interview are accurately set out in that transcript, and it is to those that I should go for the claim in slander, rather than to what is pleaded in paragraph 7(a) of the Particulars of Claim. An amendment will be necessary if the matter proceeds. Mr Goddard submits (as is common ground) that the whole of the transcript is relevant as part of the context of the publications complained of. So it is convenient that, at the same time as setting out the passages relied on by the claimant, I should also refer to the passages relied on by Ms Kissin.

9

The transcript of the interview conducted on 20 May 2011 covers 37 pages. Much of it relates to allegations made by the defendant against individuals other than the claimant. The first of these was Mr Warner. Ms Kissin refers me to a passage on the first and second pages of the transcript, pages 527–8 of the bundle, in which Mr Dingemans had just asked a question about allegations concerning Mr Warner. The passage reads as follows.

"[The defendant]: Well, I have covered this in the evidence that I gave to the select committee. Although the uncorrected transcript is in the public domain and is available to you, that is the entirety of the statement that I made, and it was given under conditions of Parliamentary privilege. I think that if I try to add to it I will stray into territory not covered by Parliamentary privilege".

10

The passages the claimant would plead (if the matter goes forward) include one which also on page 528 of the bundle in the passage concerning Mr Warner. It reads:

"[Mr Dingeman's QC]: Did you have any further discussions with Jack Warner about the proposed academy idea?

[The defendant]: I have covered it all in the evidence to the select committee and I do invite you to rely on the transcript".

11

On page 530 of the bundle, where the topic is still Mr Warner, there is a further passage relied on by Mr Goddard as follows:

"[Mr Dingemans]: Did you have any further discussions about the academy idea within the FA with other members of the FA?

[The defendant]: Well, alongside of saying I do invite you to rely on the evidence given to the select committee…"

12

The further passage relied on by Mr Goddard is at page 531 of the bundle is as follows:

"[Mr Dingemans]: So effectively, those short other questions around the edges apart, you refer me really to your evidence to the Commons committee about this?

[The defendant]: Yes I do"

13

At page 546 of the bundle there is a passage of the transcript referring to Mr Teixeira. The passage relied on by Mr Goddard reads as follows:

"[Mr Dingemans]: And his comments, what he said, was in his halting English or translated?

[The defendant]: Sorry let me be very accurate. It is in the evidence.

[Mr Dingemans]: Right, right, so you will stick with the evidence. It was just I was not entirely sure from that whether it was — you say he spoke in English and what you say he said is in the...

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1 cases
  • Makudi v Baron Triesman of Tottenham
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 February 2014
    ...... MOTT QC) Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London, WC2A 2LL . Before: . Lord Justice Maurice Kay . Case No: A2/2013/0436 Dato' Worawi Makudi Appellant and n Triesman of Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey Respondent . Mr Andrew ......

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