Publishers seek `dirty tricks' retrial

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The Independent Online
The television journalist Martyn Gregory has lodged an appeal against the verdict in a libel case he lost last December against Brian Basham, a former British Airways public relations consultant. Mr Basham, whose past clients include Lord Hanson and Robert Maxwell and who runs his own PR consultancy, was awarded pounds 20,000 damages by a high court jury after successfully suing over allegations in Mr Gregory's book about the "dirty tricks" campaign waged by British Airways against Virgin Atlantic.

Mr Basham claimed that the book, Dirty Tricks, had wrongly portrayed him as a "pedlar" of untruths. A statement from Mr Gregory's publishers Little Brown said the trial judge had not properly explained the issues of the case to the jurors and had misdirected them, and the publishers were seeking a retrial.