Telegraph pays damages for Iraq war leak claim

The Daily Telegraph has paid libel damages to a senior intelligence expert it wrongly claimed had leaked information to the media before the Iraq war.

Dr Brian Jones was a branch head on the defence intelligence staff of the Ministry of Defence and the country’s most senior expert on weapons of mass destruction until he retired from the civil service in 2003.

His solicitor, Luke Staiano, told Mr Justice Eady at the high court in London that the allegation, made in an article in the Daily Telegraph in March, was untrue.

He said the article falsely alleged that Jones had leaked information when, in fact, the chairman of a recent House of Commons select committee on leaks and whistleblowing in Whitehall had singled Jones out as someone who did not, and would not, behave in such a way.

Staiano said Telegraph Media Group had accepted that the allegation was untrue, had published an apology and had agreed to pay undisclosed damages and Jones’s legal costs.

Jones, he added, was highly concerned about the allegation, both from a professional and personal perspective, and was satisfied he had been vindicated.

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