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Mail accused of 'sabotage' move

LAWYERS for the receiver appointed to the Sunday Tribune have claimed an alleged attempt by a rival newspaper to pass itself off as the Tribune was an effort to kill off the ailing paper as quickly as possible.

John Gordon, for receiver Jim Luby, said the actions of the Irish Mail On Sunday (IMOS) were deceptive and grossly misrepresented the situation at the time.

Mr Gordon argued that the IMOS had "grabbed" the paper's masthead and "masqueraded" as it in an attempt "to kill off" the goodwill of the Sunday Tribune as quickly as possible.

People buy newspapers by reference to the front cover, not an examination of what is inside, counsel said. This publication featured a similar masthead to the Tribune and there was no reference to the IMOS until the reader looked inside.

Michael Howard, for the IMOS, told the Commercial Court there was no registered trademark for the Tribune and it had not been self-financing for years, relying heavily on subsidies from Independent News & Media.

The claims were made during an application yesterday by IMOS for an order requiring Mr Luby to provide security for the legal costs of the proceedings against Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd over the alleged "passing off" of the Tribune last month.

The hearing is expected to conclude today .