Desmond files a defense

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Northern & Shell owner Richard Desmond has filed a defence to a libel action by Lord Black of Coldharbour, Telegraph Group publisher, and at the same time has counter-sued over an attack by Black on his directors and his company. Lord Black sued last year after the Sunday Express, one of Desmond’s titles, had raised doubts over the financial viability of his Hollinger International company. On Christmas Eve, The Daily Telegraph published a diatribe by Black about Desmond’s company, accusing some of his directors of being ex-convicts, and saying his board would have difficulty raising £10 from any capital market. Four of Desmond’s directors are joining him in suing for defamation.

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