'Frozen' Court Case Stalls Competing Moves by Sheridan and News of the World Publishers

An attempt by former MSP, Tommy Sheridan, to win damages awarded to him during a defamation case against the News of the World six years ago has been stalled by the case being frozen, pending a police investigation into the actions of the newspaper.

Sheridan is seeking £200,000 damages against the publishers of the now defunct News of the World, following a defamation case that he won but which then led to him appearing in a later court case – charged with having previously perjured himself. Found guilty of that charge, he was jailed last year.

Sheridan was released from prison last month, after having served one of the three years handed to him. 

But he was claiming a victory today, because the freezing of the case was preventing the publishers of the News of the World from appealing the damages award.

Reports the BBC's website: “Judges were asked to reopen the appeal by [News of the World publishers] News Group solicitors in light of the perjury conviction.

“Sheridan's legal team argued the case should remain frozen – technically called sisted – until police investigations into alleged phone hacking and other practices can conclude.

“After a short hearing at the Court of Session, Lord Clarke said: 'The appropriate course is to refuse the motion to recall the sist.'

“Speaking outside the court, Mr Sheridan said: 'We will wait for the outcome of that investigation and then look forward to coming back to this court to fight for the upholding of the original jury verdict in this trial.'

“He added: 'If it was a boxing match, it would be round one to us.'”

The News of the World was closed down last year amid the phone-hacking allegations.