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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Peer loses Dunblane damages bid
George Robertson
Lord Robertson lost his action at the Court of Session
A bid by Lord Robertson to win further damages over a false allegation that he was responsible for the Dunblane massacre has been dismissed by a judge.

He accepted a 25,000 offer from the publishers of the Sunday Herald after suing for defamation over the claim on the paper's internet message board.

Lord Robertson then raised a further 25,000 action following subsequent coverage of the case in the newspaper.

But this has now been turned down at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The former Nato Secretary General claimed that the article in the Sunday Herald repeated the false allegation that he was responsible for the massacre, in which 16 children and their teacher were killed by gunman Thomas Hamilton in 1996, before he shot himself.

'Reasonable reader'

Lord Robertson also maintained that the article set out to portray him as "an irrational bullying individual who raised spurious proceedings".

The owners of the newspaper, Newsquest, disputed that the material was defamatory of Lord Robertson.

The judge, Lord Reed, said he could see nothing in the article to support the contention that it portrayed the former Labour defence secretary bullying or hypocritical.

He added: "My conclusion is that the Sunday Herald article, read as a whole, cannot be understood by an reasonable reader as making, repeating, circulating or giving currency to the allegation that the pursuer (Lord Robertson) was responsible for the Dunblane massacre."

"The whole tenor of the article is that the allegation against him was untrue and the article cannot reasonably be understood as adopting or repeating that allegation."

Paper faces web libel action
12 Jul 03 |  Scotland
Nato chief to step down
22 Jan 03 |  Europe
Sale of the Herald approved
28 Mar 03 |  Scotland

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