Belfast-based law firm KRW Law taking libel action over The Sun newspaper's reporting of litigation against former British soldiers
Partners in KRW Law contend they were defamed in articles by The Sun which referred to allegations of a “witch hunt” probe into killings by ex-servicemen.
The action against News Group Newspapers has been listed for a two-week trial due to begin at the High Court next month.
Proceedings centre on reports published either online or in a print edition of The Sun back in 2016.
Those articles related to criminal investigations, civil litigation and inquests into deaths caused by British troops during the conflict in Northern Ireland.
KRW Law’s partners, Kevin Winters, Niall Murphy, Joe McVeigh, Gerard McNamara and Paul Pierce, have instructed Frank O’Donoghue KC to represent them in the court battle.
Witnesses set to give evidence on behalf of the plaintiffs include murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine Finucane, investigative journalist John Ware, and campaigner Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was among 21 people killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.
Representatives of the Northern Ireland Law Society, the Committee on the Administration of Justice and Human Rights First are also expected to testify.
With News Group claiming justification as part of its defence, the company has enlisted Tony McGleenan KC to fight the lawsuit.
At a review hearing today Mr McGleenan told the court that a request for discovery has been made on financial information in a series of cases and Police Ombudsman investigations.
“We have raised specific questions about it… the issues are well known,” he said.
Mr Justice Kinney issued a direction for the plaintiffs to respond to the queries by January 30.