Libel judge backs PR man

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Richard Branson's High Court libel case against the GTech PR director Robert Rendine was halted yesterday on the judge's directions.

After more than half a day of legal argument in the jury's absence, Mr Justice Morland ruled that Mr Rendine could not be held liable personally to the Virgin chief for any allegedly defamatory material broadcast or published on GTech's behalf. The judge entered a verdict in Mr Rendine's favour.

Mr Branson's case against GTech, which holds 22 per cent of UK lottery licence-holder Camelot, and its chief, Guy Snowden, will continue. It centres on an alleged attempt by Mr Snowden to bribe Mr Branson.

The hearing continues.