OJ Simpson has been ordered to pay $25,000 (GBP138,800) in damages for pirating satellite television signals.

Florida District Judge JOAN LENARD awarded the damages, plus attorneys' fees and other costs, after granting a motion for summary judgment in a civil suit against Simpson.

In a raid on the former American football star's Miami home in 2001, federal agents seized illegal devices dubbed "bootloaders" which authorities said were used to steal programming from DirecTV.

Simpson's attorney, YALE GALANTER, complains, "(The judge) basically denied us our right to a jury trial... This was a decision made by a judge in chambers. They say he did it; we say he didn't. A jury should be able to make that decision.

"We are examining our legal options... We want our day in court."

Galanter has 10 days to respond, or the summary judgement stands.

DAN FAWCETT, executive vice president of DirecTV Inc, says, "The evidence was overwhelming since the devices seized in Simpson's home were connected to his TV and in operation and receiving unauthorised signals at the time of the raid."

Simpson moved to Florida from California after he was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 stabbing deaths of his wife, NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON, and her friend RONALD GOLDMAN.

27/07/2005 09:27