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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
$20m Moore libel claim rejected
Michael Moore
The film studied US gun use and 1995's Oklahoma bomb
A judge has rejected a $20m (11m) libel action against director Michael Moore by the brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols.

James Nichols said statements in Moore's Oscar-winning film Bowling for Columbine could be misinterpreted to inaccurately link him to the bombing.

He also said the film intentionally inflicted emotional distress on him.

But Detroit district court judge Paul Borman ruled the 2002 film's statements were "factual and substantially true".

'Practice bombs'

The documentary Bowling for Columbine looked at gun violence in the US as well as the April 1995 bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City, in which 168 people died.

Timothy McVeigh was executed in June 2001 for detonating the bomb while parked beside the building.

In his film Mr Moore said James and Terry Nichols made "practice bombs" on their farm in Decker, Michigan, before the Oklahoma City bombing.

Terry Nichols was convicted of manslaughter in a federal court and sentenced to life without parole.

James Nichols was charged with possessing explosive devices but criminal charges against him were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

Among the statements James Nichols objected to was one in which Mr Moore said: "Terry Nichols was arrested and received a life sentence. Timothy McVeigh was executed. But the feds didn't have the goods on James, so the charges were dropped."

On Thursday Judge Borman ruled that the statement "was literally true and accurately reported the government's dismissal of the charges" against Nichols.



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