A couple successfully sued for libel by McDonald's, the fast food restaurant
chain, are preparing for another courtroom battle.
Helen Steel, 33, and Dave Morris, 44, Greenpeace activists, have issued writs against the Metropolitan Police, alleging officers gave names, addresses and other personal information to private investigators working for McDonald's.
They are demanding damages for what they say was an abuse of power by police officers.
The writs were issued in the High Court yesterday and will be served on Sir Paul Condon, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, today. They allege abuse of public office, breach of confidence and breach of privacy by officers under his control.
Ms Steel and Mr Morris, a single father and former postman, both members of LOndon Greenpeace, were ordered to pay #60,000 compensation to McDonald's after linking them unfavourably to Third World starvation in a leaflet published before 1989.
The action, known as the McLibel case and rumoured to have cost McDonald's £ 10 million, lasted two and a half years. Already the longest trial in English legal history, it has not yet been finally determined.
Ms Steel and Mr Morris are appealing against elements of the case that were found against them.