[This press release was E-mailed to various newsgroups and others on the night of February 23, 2000 under the subject heading Riley v Gable. The correction was added later.]
After a five day trial before a jury at the High Court, London, Chesterfield-based accountant Morris Riley was awarded five thousand pounds damages against Searchlight magazine editor Gerry Gable, one-time columnist Ray Hill, and the magazine itself, in relation to an August 1993 article in the “Hill Street News” column.
Riley is the author of PHILBY: THE HIDDEN YEARS, the second edition of which was published by Janus of London last year. Janus publisher Sandy Leung gave evidence for Riley yesterday. Today, Judge Walker sent the jury out at 11.30am, and they returned at 3pm to announce their unanimous verdict.
The defence elected to call no evidence; Mr Gable (who also appeared on behalf of the magazine) and Mr Hill, were in court to hear the verdict. Mr Hill had denied writing the article in question. All three defendants were represented by Mr Hudson of Counsel on behalf of Mishcon de Reya. Mr Nigel Ley and Mr John Orme of Grays Inn Chambers acted for Mr Riley.
Because of complications entailed by two payments into court, Mr Riley was ordered to pay the defendants’ costs from February 11, 2000 to the end of the trial. He said though that he had been totally vindicated. Afterwards, he treated his supporters to a belated free lunch at a nearby hotel.
[A correction to the above - publisher Sandy Leung actually gave evidence on the third day of the trial].
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