Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 14:07 UK

BBC settles Panorama libel battle

Mr Mohammed Taranissi
Mr Taranissi said the programme made defamatory allegations

The BBC has agreed to settle a libel case, after a specialist fertility doctor claimed a Panorama programme had damaged his reputation.

A BBC spokesman said both parties had agreed to settle and "consider the matter now closed".

Mr Mohamed Taranissi claimed that the 2007 programme made defamatory allegations about his techniques.

Last October, the High Court ordered the BBC to pay an estimated £500,000 in costs to Mr Taranissi.

On Monday, the BBC spokesman said: "Both parties have agreed to settle and not to continue forward and consider the matter now closed."

The corporation had denied libel over the January 2007 programme, IVF Undercover.

The High Court award of costs came after the BBC withdrew part of its defence of qualified privilege for responsible journalism in the public interest.

At the time Mr Taranissi's counsel, Richard Rampton QC, said the BBC had withdrawn the defence after 14 months and costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds being incurred.

The BBC said then that it stood by its journalism.

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