Last month the Supreme Court found that a printed article published by the newspaper, carrying allegations against a detective sergeant in the Metropolitan Police, was protected by Reynolds privilege. This followed an appeal by the Times against a judgment by the Court of Appeal, which overturned a previous ruling that the newspaper was entitled to the defence.
As the Supreme Court stated in March, Times Newspapers had originally put forward two defences in the case, justification and public interest privilege, but for the purposes of the current appeal it was only dealing with the latter "which was tried as a preliminary issue".
The original high court ruling in 2009 found the online version of the article had lost this privilege as it was not updated to show Flood had been cleared. In 2010 the Court of Appeal upheld this part of the appeal.
Last month the Supreme Court said there had not been enough time to enable the court to hear the argument in relation to the online part of the appeal.
Outlining the matter in its March judgment the court said: "The DPS report clearing Sergeant Flood was made, internally, on 2 December 2006. Its result was not communicated to TNL until 5 September 2007.
"On that date the Article still remained on the TNL website, and TNL neither removed it nor qualified it. In these circumstances, Tugendhat J held that the protection of Reynolds privilege did not extend beyond 5 September 2007.
"Before the Court of Appeal TNL appealed without success against that finding. They have appealed against it before this Court."
The court said "it was agreed that it should be adjourned, to be pursued, if appropriate, after judgment had been given in respect of the first limb of the appeal".
"The Court is prepared to hear submissions on the second limb if so requested."
This part of the appeal is due to be heard on 23 April, unless both parties agree to its withdrawal. It is understood the requested withdrawal will not affect the Times' plans to pursue a defence against the rest of the claim.
The lawyer representing Flood, Nick Neocleous said he is currently considering the terms of the Times' order.