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18/09/2006

PSNI pay journalists 'damages'

The PSNI have paid an “unprecedented sum of damages” to The Sunday Times' Northern Ireland editor and his wife.

Legal action was launched against the PSNI in May 2003, after they carried out a raid at the Ballymena home of journalists Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston.

It is understood that the search operation was carried out under the Official Secrets Act after the publication of transcripts of conversations carried out between Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness and senior government officials.

The couple complained to the Ombudsman`s office who investigated the incident and branded the police raid as “poorly led and unprofessional.”

The case was eventually settled out of court.

Earlier today, a barrister acting on behalf of the couple announced that the PSNI had agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of damages as well as their court costs.

(EF/SP)

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