WASHINGTON (Nov. 18)
A Federal court today dismissed a $4 million libel and conspiracy suit against the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith by black militant Hassan Jeru-Ahmed. US District Court Judge John H. Pratt ruled that statements by the ADL about Hassan “are in fact true as is evident” from Hassan’s “own utterances.” The plaintiff had claimed that he was falsely accused of being anti-Semitic and of training a black guerrilla army.
Hassan’s suit was part of his attempt to get more than $500,000 in Federal funds to support his heroin treatment program in Washington’s inner city. He claimed that the ADL’s accusations had caused the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to suspend grants to his Blackmans Development Center pending a Federal audit. HEW had accused Hassan of poor book-keeping and suspended a $197,000 job-training grant to his Center.
The ADL said that in 1967 Hassan circulated literature alleging that an internal Jewish conspiracy existed to exploit American blacks and that the literature was distributed by Hassan’s organization as recently as last fall. It also charged that Hassan associated with known anti-Semites and was raising a guerrilla band. Hassan acknowledged circulating the literature but denied the other charge.
Judge Pratt observed in his decision that the ADL’s statements “were not made with knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard of truth or falsity.” He ruled that they were made “after careful and diligent research” pursuant “to its legal and moral duty prescribed” by its charter. Hassan filed a libel and slander suit for $10 million against Rep. Robert N. Glaimo (D., Conn.) after the Congressmen was reported to have said in a speech to the New Haven Jewish Community Council that Hassan was an “anti-Semitic manipulator.” That case has not been decided.