THE boyfriend of murder victim Kamila Garsztka, whose body was found in the lake at Priory Marina in 2006, has won a libel case against Bedfordshire Police.
The case heard in the Civil Court, revolved around a press release issued by Beds Police nearly three years ago, after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it would not proceed with a re-trial of Kamila’s boyfriend at the time Amilton Bento.
He was previously convicted of the murder of Kamila, but in 2009 he was cleared in an appeal.
He has since been suing Beds Police for libel damages, which he has now won after the judge ruled in his favour awarding him £125,000 in damages, plus costs.
A statement from Beds Police said: “The libel proceedings were about what the press release meant, whether what was said about Mr Bento was true or not and whether the police had any duty to issue the press release.
“In the meaning, which Mr Justice Bean held the press release bore, he found that what was said about Mr Bento was not true and that on the balance of probabilities Mr Bento did not kill Kamila Garsztka.
“Initially Mr Bento’s lawyers had included an allegation in the claim that the police had not conducted an “ethical or thorough” investigation into Kamila’s death. “During the course of these proceedings that claim, for aggravated damages, was struck out and the Civil Court made no criticism of Bedfordshire or its officers as to their handling of the investigation.
“The judgement of Mr Justice Bean is full. We accept it and believe that paragraphs 14, 92 and 99 are pertinent but do require to be read in the context of the entire judgement.
“Our actual press release differed from that which the Judge stated in paragraph 99, could have legitimately been issued.
“The Civil Court has found that the force went so far as to say something (refer to paragraphs 3 and 10) which infringed Mr Bento’s rights under Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights legislation. That was not our intention and we regret it occurred.
“The Court has awarded Mr Bento £125,000 damages and his legal costs. Both will be borne by our insurers, Zurich Municipal. We thank our insurers for their robust support during this difficult case.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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