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Jewell Libel Suit To Proceed

October 2, 1998 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge has allowed a libel case brought by former Olympic Park bombing suspect Richard Jewell to proceed against the New York Post after trimming away some of its claims.

Jewell, who earlier settled with NBC and CNN, had filed a $15 million lawsuit against the Post, accusing the newspaper of libeling and defaming him.

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta A. Preska kept most of the lawsuit in place, but threw out claims that a photograph and an editorial cartoon had defamed him.

Lawyers on both sides did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

The suit alleged as libelous and defamatory a series of articles, headlines, photographs and editorial cartoons that appeared in the newspaper in the days after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the story that Jewell was a suspect.

Jewell, 34, was initially portrayed as a hero for spotting a suspicious package and helping to clear people from the area before the July 27, 1996, explosion that killed one and injured 100 others.

But he became a villain after the FBI confirmed he was a suspect. He became the target of extensive media coverage until cleared by the Justice Department months later.

He later reached a reported $500,000 settlement with NBC over comments that anchor Tom Brokaw made on the air shortly after the bombing. Jewell also settled with CNN for an undisclosed amount.