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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 10:18 GMT
Telegraph concedes to Galloway
George Galloway
Galloway said he faced bankruptcy if he lost

The Daily Telegraph has backed down in its libel battle with George Galloway and could face a huge legal bill.

The newspaper has decided not to appeal to the House of Lords to overturn a 150,000 libel award to the Respect MP.

Mr Galloway successfully sued the paper for suggesting he had received money from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

He said he was delighted to have won and said the Telegraph would now have to pay the damages plus 1.6m to pay both sides' legal bills.

Last month, the Telegraph lost its appeal over the libel action as Mr Galloway spent time on reality television show Big Brother.

The only option left was to petition the House of Lords.

But in a brief statement on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said: "The Telegraph group has decided not to petition for leave to appeal."

More cases ahead?

The Bethnal Green and Bow MP said he had "risked everything" by fighting the libel case and would have been bankrupt if he had lost.

"I would have been homeless, jobless. without a bank account, bankrupt and out of public life for good so it was very high stakes. Three years is obviously a long battle and I am very pleased to have finally won it," he told BBC One's Breakfast.

He added: "The Saddam regime never gave me any money, but the newspapers that alleged that he did have had to give me plenty and pay out plenty."

In a sign there could be further legal action, he warned: "There are several other newspapers in the same frame."

The Telegraph had argued in court that it was in the public interest to publish documents found inside the Iraqi foreign ministry after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Senate battle

Mr Galloway has always denied seeking or receiving money from the former leader.

A US Senate Committee last year said they had fresh evidence linking Mr Galloway and his estranged wife to Iraq's oil-for-food programme.

Mr Galloway and his wife both deny the allegations.

The MP said he had "demanded" the committee question him again, particularly because he had "done quite well" in his last encounter with the senators.

He also vowed to pursue the committee's chairman, Republican Norm Coleman, when he sought re-election in Minnesota in November.


SEE ALSO:
Galloway wins libel award battle
25 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
Telegraph fights Galloway payout
11 Oct 05 |  UK Politics
Galloway takes on US oil accusers
17 May 05 |  UK Politics
Galloway wins Saddam libel case
02 Dec 04 |  UK Politics


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