Newspaper tells Archer: we want our money back - with interest

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The Daily Star which lost the now infamous libel case brought by Lord Archer in 1987 today sent a stern message to the peer "we want our money back with interest - a small matter of £3 million".

The Daily Star which lost the now infamous libel case brought by Lord Archer in 1987 today sent a stern message to the peer "we want our money back with interest - a small matter of £3 million".

The tabloid newspaper was ordered to pay £500,000 in damages to Lord Archer after printing a story accusing him of paying a prostitute for sex.

They were also ordered to pay the full costs of the case totalling £700,000.

Now the national newspaper has called in the police and is pushing for its money back.

On Saturday Lord Archer stood down from the mayoral race - saying he wanted to spare his family of six months of "sustained attack" from the papers.

In today's edition of The Daily Star, editor Peter Hill writes: "He can spare them all from more embarrassing muck-raking by sending us a cheque now.

"With interest, it's a small matter of £3 million."

Mr Hill added: "The Daily Star has now made an official complaint to the police, who are investigating whether Archer and his friend Ted Francis, committed a crime.

"They could face charges of conspiracy to commit perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice."

Mr Hill says revelations in the News of the World yesterday throws doubt over the whole libel case.

He said: "If the jury had known he had talked a friend into lying for him they wouldn't have given him such a huge amount of money.

"They might even have thrown out the case altogether."

Mr Hill also claims that the true identity of Lord Archer's dinner date that night would have influenced the case.

In his leader column Mr Hill says: "If the jury had known this, would they have been so ready to believe his posturing as the adoring husband of a wife described by the judge as 'elegant' and 'fragrant'?

"Such doubts mean that the case must be reconsidered, and the Daily Star's lawyers are now looking into this." Today Mr Hill said he believed that some form of legal action against Lord Archer was inevitable.

"I would say he was at the very least guilty of an act that would be likely to pervert the course of justice ... in persuading his friend to tell lies for him," he said.

"When you go to court you expect that all the evidence will be heard and you expect the truth will be told. But in fact, all the evidence was not heard, because if the jury had known that Jeffrey Archer had persuaded his friend to lie for him, they wouldn't have been prepared to believe the rest of the things that he said," he argued.

Mr Hill said that his paper wanted back the damages it paid, its legal costs, plus interest - a total of around £3 million by its reckoning.

The paper would be pursuing the issue, he insisted. "Our lawyers are looking at it and we will take a decision later in the week," Mr Hill told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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