25 November 1999 Edition

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Prentice paid money to LVF leader's wife

by Laura Friel

Portadown businessman Albert Prentice, one of two brothers currently suing the author of ``The Committee'' Sean McPhilemy for libel in the USA, must disclose details of the money he admittedly paid to the wife of his nephew, Mark ``Swinger'' Fulton, a US court has ruled.

Mark Fulton, the reputed leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, is currently serving a jail sentence for arms offences. McPhilemy's book names businessmen, members of the RUC, solicitors, members of the UDR and loyalist gunmen who he alleged were members of the ``Committee'', which orchestrated collusion with loyalist death squads.

The Prentice brothers' libel action bill, which has already cost the pair $2 million, is set to increase after a Washington judge ruled in favour of 53 out of 57 discovery demands by McPhilemy's lawyers.

The Prentices are suing for $100 million, but if the court accepts McPhilemy's lawyers' categorisation of the two businessmen as ``public figures'' under US law, the brothers would have to prove that the defendant deliberately published untrue facts about them, knowing them to be lies.

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