Wednesday, June 29 2016

BBC broadcasts interview with Babar Ahmad

The Daily Express and Daily Telegraph on Friday covered the BBC interview with Babar Ahmad which was broadcast last week.

Both publications draw attention to the fact that the BBC's appeal against the Ministry of Justice's denial of an interview has cost £100,000.

From the Daily Express:

"A legal battle by the BBC to interview a terror suspect has cost the taxpayer about £100,000 and angered public-spending campaigners.

"Whitehall sources said the costs of defending the case against the BBC amounted to roughly £55,000. An insider at the corporation said their legal bill came to a similar amount. It is thought the detention of the former IT worker and his legal battle against extradition has cost taxpayers about £500,000."

The Daily Telegraph reports:

"British Muslim Babar Ahmad, 38, was taken from his top security prison cell to allow journalists the opportunity to question him over his fight against extradition to the US.

"The Ministry of Justice initially contested the broadcaster's application for filming but following a judicial review at the High Court a judge ruled in favour of the BBC, whose lawyers had argued the matter was of significant public interest.

"Prison Staff and civil servants are understood to have been taken off normal duties at Long Lartin prison, Worcs, last week to allow the film crew access."

One would think the papers would take greater interest in the miscarriage of justice that a seven year detention without trial or charge implies. Instead the Express and Telegraph baulk at the cost of the public interest defence of learning what seven years' imprisonment and a long fight against extradition has done to a British citizen.

You can catch the interview on BBC iPlayer here and read the interviewer, Dominic Casciani's corresponding article here.

You can share your thoughts on the TV report, and the BBC's struggle to secure the interview, with Dominic Casciani on  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 15:39

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