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Court lifts Bin Laden book ban

Bin Laden's half brother says he has not seen him since 1981

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss Federal Court has rejected an appeal by the half-brother of Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden to ban a controversial book on the al-Qaeda leader.

Geneva-based Yeslam Binladin had sought to have the book blocked on the grounds that it was defamatory.

Binladin said the book - "Bin Laden, The Forbidden Truth" - implied that he and his company SICO (Saudi Investment Company) had bankrolled al-Qaeda.

But the court ruled that the fact that Binladin and his half-brother came from the same family was not likely to damage Binladin's reputation.

It added that the average reader would have little interest in Yeslam Binladin - one of the Saudi extremist's 54 siblings - and his business activities.

The court also said that the book did not prove any effective links between Binladin and the al-Qaeda leader.

The book, written by two French authors, Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, has been published in French and German.

Binladin, who has lived in Geneva since 1985 and has Swiss citizenship, won an appeal in November to provisionally ban the book.

The businessman insists he has not had any contact with his younger half-brother since 1981. He has also condemned bin Laden for the September 11 attacks on the United States.

swissinfo and agencies

In brief

The Swiss Federal Court has rejected an appeal by the half-brother of Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden to ban a controversial book on the al-Qaeda leader.

Geneva-based Yeslam Binladin wanted the book blocked on the grounds that it was defamatory because it implied he had bankrolled al-Qaeda.

But the court ruled that the fact that Binladin and his half-brother came from the same family was not likely to damage Binladin's reputation.

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