14.2.04

Lord Black hits back

As the bidding battle for the Daily Telegraph intensifies the campaigns of recrimination and revenge across the pond are also gathering pace. Since his decision to sell the Daily Telegraph Lord Black has been at war with Hollinger International and some of its directors who have accused him of misappropriating millions of pounds.

With lawsuits flying high both sides of the Atlantic Lord black has added one of his own and decided to hit back at his critics with a multimillion pound defamation action.
Filed in Canada his lawsuit lists a string of defendants from Hollinger directors to a former SEC chairman and former Illinois governor James Thomson. Whether his action succeeds remains to be seen but it is unlikely to be the last court action filed in this ever expanding saga.

Bailey hit by big bill after six of his libel actions fail

Bringing a defamation action is not always the safest or cheapest means of clearing your name as the beleaguered journalist Ian Brady found out this week. Desperate to clear his name after being implicated in the murder of Sophie du Plantier, a French film-maker who was killed in Ireland in 1996 Bailey had launched defamation actions against 8 newspapers over their coverage of du Plantier's murder. He had reported on the brutal murder but was then himself questioned in connection with it. He was never charged but the murder remains unsolved.

Seven years on and Bailey's defamation action against six of the original eight papers failed. Only the Irish Mirror and Irish Sun each had to pay up for articles about Bailey's relationship with his ex-wife. The remaining papers including The Times, Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph were all cleared of libel.

The trial judge ruled that Bailey should pay over half the costs of the six papers he cleared. That leaves Bailey with a bill of over 150,000 pounds and in the judge's own words certainly not having won first prize.

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