Herald 'libel repetition' case thrown out

Former Nato secretary-general Lord Robertson has had a second attempt to sue the Sunday Herald rejected.

The former Labour MP and defence secretary had settled an earlier claim for £200,000 damages by accepting an outof- court settlement for £25,000 plus legal expenses and an apology from the Sunday Herald, over an allegation it carried on its website in 2003 that wrongly referred to him in connection with the Dunblane school massacre.

The allegation had been posted anonymously on the paper's now defunct online readers' forum.

However, when the Sunday Herald published details of the settlement on its media page in September 2004, Lord Robertson claimed it repeated the defamatory allegation and had also portrayed him as an irrational bullying individual who raised spurious proceedings.

In his judgment at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Reed said: "My conclusion is that the Sunday Herald article, read as a whole, cannot be understood by any reasonable reader as making, repeating, circulating or giving currency to the allegation."

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