by Elias Kifle
I am pleased to report that the civil lawsuit brought against me and EthiopianReview.com by Al Amoudi & Co. (Jemal Ahmed vs. Elias Kifle) in August 2012 has been dismissed in U.S. Federal Court in Atlanta today.
I wish to thank my lawyers at Fish & Richardson for their exceptional legal work in defending me and Ethiopian Review against a lawsuit in which the plaintiff was represented by the Goliath law firm of DLA Piper, a multinational law firm ranked as the “third largest law firm in the United States.”
In a country where there is the rule of law, even “Davids” can triumph against the legal Goliaths of the world.
In February 2015, the U.S. District Court entered a default judgment against me and Ethiopian Review after I refused to reveal my sources in Ethiopia and elsewhere potentially endangering their lives.
I appealed the District Court’s ruling to the Court of Appeals, which remanded the case to the District Court instructing it to determine whether the plaintiff could sue me and Ethiopian Review in U.S. Federal Court.
Following the Court of Appeal’s ruling, today the District Court had no option but to dismiss the frivolous lawsuit and ordered the plaintiff to pay my legal expenses.
The civil courts of the United States must never be allowed to be used as a means of censoring freedom of the press or of speech.
“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Thomas Jefferson.
I once again would like to express my deeply felt gratitude to my family who supported and prayed for me during this time, to the United States Constitution, the exceptionally talented lawyers at Fish & Richardson, all my friends and members of this forum who stood by me, journalist Abebe Gelaw, Prof. Alemayehu Gebremariam, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who provided me with valuable advice.
This case is greater than me and Ethiopian Review. It is about defending freedom of speech, the most cherished right in the U.S. Constitution.
Read the Court’s decision here
by Elias Kifle