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McCann's Win Libel Case Against Daily Express Newspaper Group

By Michelle Duffy     Mar 19, 2008 in World
The Daily Express, a leading UK newspaper who found themselves in hot water with the McCann family over their daughter's disappearance, have had to make a formal apology after a libel settlement. Kate and Jerry say they have "welcomed" the apology.
A statement has been issued today from the parents of missing Madeleine McCann in which they have expressed their relief over an official apology made to them from The Daily Express newspaper.
Kate and Jerry had said they were pleased with the conclusion of a recent libel case against the leading tabloid in which the paper had printed misleading stories about the couple.
In the statement from the McCann's today, they described the newspaper as having published "utter falsity" and "grotesque" stories about them.
They said, "We are pleased that Express Newspapers have today admitted the utter falsity of the numerous grotesque and grossly defamatory allegations that their titles published."
The stories had suggested that the couple, from
Rothley, Leicestershire, were responsible for their daughter's disappearance and that they probably killed her either accidentally or otherwise.
The settlement has resulted with the Express group having to pay £500,000 in damages to the "Find Madeleine" campaign.
It will be the first anniversary of the four-year-old's disappearance on May 3. The little girl went missing from the family apartment whilst her parents and friends dined at a Tapas Bar a good distance away in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
The title of "suspect" has still not been lifted from the pair, despite their denial of having been involved in the child's abduction.
Kate and Jerry had not been present at the High Court in London today when the result of the libel had been announced, yet their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, made a statement outside after the verdict.
"We are pleased that Express Newspapers have today admitted the utter falsity of the numerous grotesque and grossly defamatory allegations that their titles published about us on a sustained basis over many months. The exceptional publication of these apologies, together with today's statement of full apology in open court before Mr Justice Eady, was the only just and proper response by Express Newspapers following our complaint."
The newspaper group, which includes the daily papers, the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday, had admitted to publishing over a hundred articles about the couple in which they had pointed a finger of blame at the pair for the child's presumed abduction and possible murder.
On behalf of the newspaper group, Mr Stephen Bacon, told the court: "Express Newspapers regrets publishing these extremely serious, yet baseless, allegations."
The front page of the Daily Express and Daily Star have published the words, "Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry," as their headline.
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