Attorneys for U.S. television commentator Glenn Beck on Monday asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit charging their client with defamation for wrongly accusing a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing of being the “money man” behind the attack.
The plaintiff, Saudi Arabian national Abdulrahman Alharbi, 21, had been present at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, when two homemade pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd and was injured.
He was briefly investigated by federal authorities who concluded within days that he played no role in the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Federal prosecutors now contend that a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carried out the bombing.
Attorneys for Beck and his media company, The Blaze Inc, argued that by granting interviews to media outlets after being cleared of suspicion by federal officials, Alharbi made himself a “limited purpose public figure” subject to higher levels of scrutiny than a private citizen.