Morgan's boss gives him vote of confidence

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The Independent Online

Sir Victor Blank, chairman of the Daily Mirror's owner, Trinity Mirror, yesterday stood by the paper's decision to publish controversial photographs purporting to show British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Sir Victor Blank, chairman of the Daily Mirror's owner, Trinity Mirror, yesterday stood by the paper's decision to publish controversial photographs purporting to show British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Focusing on the allegations of torture, rather than the row over the authenticity of the pictures, Sir Victor said it was the job of the Daily Mirror to "root out bad apples" in the armed forces. He refused to comment on the "hypothetical" question of whether the editor, Piers Morgan, should resign if the pictures turn out to have been forged. "The core issue that's been raised by the Mirror ... is about very serious allegations of brutality and torture by rogue elements of the armed forces," said Sir Victor in response to a question from a shareholder at the company's AGM.

At one point, the Trinity Mirror chairman appeared to say definitively that the pictures were "not faked", but then he qualified the statement. "The newspaper people looking at them are standing by their authenticity," he said.

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