Friday, February 10, 2012

#Libel Trial :Nat Rothschild loses libel case against Daily Mail over Mandelson trip

Judge rules that conduct of multimillionare financier on Siberian trip exposed Peter Mandelson to conflict of interest claims
Nat Rothschild has lost his libel action against the Daily Mail. Photograph: Richard Young /Rex Features
It was a week-long libel case which offered an intimate, if brief, glimpse into the lives of the politically powerful and super-rich: impulse trips to Russia in a pair of private jets, birch-leaf beatings in a communal sauna, and an impromptu game of ice hockey, with staff members roped in to make up the numbers.

It was resolved by multimillionare financier Nat Rothschild failing to win damages over the Daily Mail's claims he was a "puppet master". The paper said Rothschild took Lord Mandelson on a trip to Moscow and Siberia to impress a key business contact, exposing Mandelson, the then-EU trade commissioner, to allegations of a conflict of interest.

Sitting at the high court in London, Mr Justice Tugendhat agreed on Friday that some elements were incorrect in the Mail article from May 2010, which recounted how Mandelson had flown in Rothschild's private jet from Switzerland to Moscow, and then on to Siberia as a guest of Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire Russian more