John Ibrahim's son sues for defamation

·3-min read

The son of Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim's has testified to being "devastated" by a newspaper spread on his family which he says made him out to be a mobster and a Mafia member.

Daniel Taylor, also known as Daniel Ibrahim, said he became a recluse, stopped getting invited places and was asked not to go to his friend's wedding or to certain venues.

"I had a fear of going out in public to avoid being recognised by people," the cafe worker told Justice Anna Katzmann in the Federal Court on Monday.

He's suing Nationwide News for defamation over the 24-page report headed "Inside the house of Ibrahim Unauthorised" published in The Sunday Telegraph on June 23, 2019.

His barrister Kieran Smark SC submitted the article made out his client to be a mobster, a member of the Mafia and a criminal involved in organised crime.

If he was successful, the defamation "was worthy of an award of substantial damages".

Daniel Ibrahim was described as his "wise guy son", which Mr Smark said was a slang term which could be said to mean smart alec.

"The other meaning is someone who is involved in organised crime," he said.

"Is the Telegraph saying that Daniel Ibrahim is a smart alec? Is that the meaning? We say no."

Nationwide denies the article portrays him as a mobster or Mafia figure, while also putting forward a "justification" defence".

The cover showed five figures in front of a sports car, "a symbol of money", said Mr Smark.

They were John Ibrahim, his son Daniel, his brother Fadhi and wife Shayda, and his brother Michael who was wearing a tracking device around his foot.

"This was a publication with fanfare", depicting a "Rogues' Gallery" and a family involved in the criminal milieu, he said.

Over and over the paper emphasis that readers can get access to "secret" undercover police tapes, which the judge noted had actually been tendered in court.

Mr Smark said the paper was at pains sometimes to disclaim any intention of imputing parties in any criminality, with such a disclaimer being made about Shayda, said to have an "enormous collection of high heels.

Disclaimers were not given to Daniel, Fadi or Michael, while John Ibrahim was said to have never been charged with anything, dubbed "Teflon John" and depicted as being head of the "underworld" family.

Editor Mick Carroll had highlighted "Mick's picks" of the spread, with his number one being the two-page story devoted to Daniel.

The article referred to Michael Ibrahim's involvement in a drug and tobacco smuggling ring and to Mr Taylor being acquitted of a charge of illegally handling $2.25 million in cash linked to the operation.

Other reported incidents included John Ibrahim helping to wax off a man's eyebrows as a punishment.

Mr Taylor said he become depressed and saddened after the publication, struggling to believe a newspaper could print such an article without getting any comment from him or his solicitor.

Under questioning from the paper's barrister Dauid Sibtane, he said he had a strained relationship with his father while he was close to his uncle Michael who gave him the $17,000 bond to set up a cafe.

He had met AB - the man whose eyebrows were waxed - through his father, describing him as a "social acquaintance" he would see out with his uncle and associates.

Mr Taylor agreed that for years he had been close to a friend who was jailed for a violent crime and who gave him drugs.

But he said he ceased seeing him in 2020 because when he got out of jail he continued to sell drugs and commit crimes.

His cross-examination will continue on Tuesday.