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February 29, 2008

Hung jury in abortion libel trial

Category: News

Cardinal's spokesman suing over hypocrisy allegations faces a retrial


The High Court trial of the libel action brought by a former spokesman for the head of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales against Associated Newspapers over an article in the Daily Mail has ended with the jury being unable to reach a verdict.

 

Austen Ivereigh, 41, was the director of public affairs for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor until he resigned one month after the June 2006 publication of the article in the Daily Mail, which alleged that he had hypocritically pressurised a former girlfriend into having an abortion, and had failed to support another when she became pregnant,. He claims that he was strongly opposed to abortion on both occasions.

 

Associated Newspapers Ltd defended the action. The parties must now contemplate a retrial. A witness who was one of the spokesman’s former girlfriends gave evidence anonmyously.

 

5RB‘s Mark Warby QC (instructed by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain) is acting for Associated Newspapers. Adam Wolanski was also involved in earlier stages of the proceedings.

 

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