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HERSH DIDN’T LIBEL OFFICIAL, JURY RULES

SHARE HERSH DIDN’T LIBEL OFFICIAL, JURY RULES

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh did not libel a former Indian prime minister in a book that called the Indian official a paid CIA informant, a federal jury found Friday.

Jurors deliberated less than six hours over two days.Morarji Desai, India's prime minister from 1977 to 1979, contended Hersh libeled him in his 1983 book, "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House," by writing that Desai was a paid CIA informant.

Desai's lawyer, Cyriac D. Kappil, asked the six-member jury to award $3.5 million to his client. Desai, 94 and living in Bombay, is ill and did not appear at the trial.

"It's a terribly important victory for any journalist," Hersh said outside the courtroom after the verdict.

Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1970 for his coverage of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.