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richardcameronwilson AT yahoo dot co dot UK

UK’s dysfunctional libel system strikes again? Newsnight feature on Trafigura disappears from BBC website

with 18 comments

UPDATE – The censored Newsnight feature on Trafigura may have disappeared from the BBC website, but it’s now all over Youtube…

The BBC lawyers may have caved, but you can still defy Trafigura – click here to find out how!

See also: Democracy under attack – Carter-Ruck persuades Commons Speaker that courts *can* ban the reporting of Parliament

In May, the BBC ran a feature on the oil company Trafigura, alleging “dirty tricks” over the dumping of toxic waste in the ivory coast. Shortly afterwards, Trafigura announced that they were sueing the BBC for libel.

The case has received very little media attention – a sign, perhaps, of the ongoing chill that Trafigura is managing to cast over the UK media – but it was mentioned again in this Guardian piece last month.

Until very recently, the Newsnight feature was freely available on the BBC’s website – but now it seems to have disappeared. It’s currently still available via Google cache, which indicates that it was on the site as late as lunchtime yesterday. Could of course just be a technical problem but it does look somewhat odd…

UPDATE 11/12/09 – The story has now been missing from the website for more than 24 hours – it’s starting to look more and more likely that  the piece has been spiked, and that the BBC – that most British of institutions – may now have become the latest victim of our country’s “rogue state” libel laws. In an ironic twist, it seems that the BBC’s lawyers chose international Human Rights Day as the moment to cave in to this attack on freedom of expression.

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Written by Richard Wilson

December 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Censorship

Tagged with ,

18 Responses

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  1. Besides the dumping of toxic waste into Africa, it would be advisable to add the issues of Mercenaries that destabilise Africa, “Mercenaries” I like to call “Terrorists” on the continent, deal with the issue of Old Russian Weapons (From those used during the World War)not to be supplied into Africa, the pharmaceutical Corporation that sell medicines at High price in Africa, if these actions can be taken, we would be paving the way for a better future for the African Continent.

    Desire K

    December 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm

  2. […] mid real world stuff so missed out on the first round of this with the commons question stuff) From Don’t Get Fooled Again Via […]

  3. […] all the background on the story you need at Don’t Get Fooled Again, here’s some Wikileaks stuff on this case. And here’s the BBC report about the […]

  4. […] last week the BBC chose to delete from its website a damning Newsnight investigation into the Trafigura scandal, following legal threats from the company and its controversial lawyers, […]

  5. […] why… Late last week the BBC chose to delete from its website a damning Newsnight investigation into the Trafigura scandal, following legal threats from the company and its controversial lawyers, […]

  6. […] into Trafigura. As the skeptic blog Don’t Get Fooled Again puts it: Late last week the BBC chose to delete from its website a damning Newsnight investigation into the Trafigura scandal, following legal threats from the company and its controversial lawyers, […]

  7. […] last week the BBC chose to delete from its website a damning Newsnight investigation into the Trafigura scandal, following legal threats from the company and its controversial lawyers, […]

  8. […] months later, Richard Wilson, of the Don’t Get Fooled blog, claimed on 10 December that the BBC’s Trafigura feature from May 2009 had disappeared from the BBC&#82…. The text, however, was still available via the Google cache. A video of the missing film soon […]

  9. […] last week the BBC chose to delete from its website a damning Newsnight investigation into the Trafigura scandal, following legal threats from the company and its controversial lawyers, […]

  10. […] months later, Richard Wilson, of the Don’t Get Fooled blog, claimed on 10 December that the BBC’s Trafigura feature from May 2009 had disappeared from the BBC&#82…. The text, however, was still available via the Google cache. A video of the missing film soon […]

  11. […] BBC [↩]Newsnight sued over toxic waste claims | David Leigh, The Guardian [↩]cfr. Richard Wilson | blog – Ian Dale | blog –  Alan Rusbridger, redattore capo del Guardian, rilancia via twitter il […]

  12. […] the BBC December 19, 2009 — jahammerton Richard Wilson writes: Late last week the BBC chose to delete from its website a damning Newsnight investigation into the Trafigura scandal, following legal threats from the company and its controversial lawyers, […]

  13. […] scorsa settimana la BBC ha deciso di cancellare dal proprio sito web una schiacciante indagine della serie “Newsnight” s…, a seguito delle minacce della compagnia e dei suoi controversi avvocati, […]

  14. […] scorsa settimana la BBC ha deciso di cancellare dal proprio sito web una schiacciante indagine della serie “Newsnight” s…, a seguito delle minacce della compagnia e dei suoi controversi avvocati, […]

  15. […] scorsa settimana la BBC ha deciso di cancellare dal proprio sito web una schiacciante indagine della serie “Newsnight” s…, a seguito delle minacce della compagnia e dei suoi controversi avvocati, […]

  16. […] pdf [in inglese, vedete sotto per la traduzione, ndt] ! Ecco perché … La scorsa settimana la BBC ha deciso di cancellare dal proprio sito web una schiacciante indagine della serie “Newsnight” s…, a seguito delle minacce della compagnia e dei suoi controversi avvocati, Carter-Ruck. […]

  17. […] pdf [in inglese, vedete sotto per la traduzione, ndt] ! Ecco perché … La scorsa settimana la BBC ha deciso di cancellare dal proprio sito web una schiacciante indagine della serie “Newsnight” s…, a seguito delle minacce della compagnia e dei suoi controversi avvocati, […]

  18. […] issue of the vanished Newsnight report. On the blog "Don't Get Fooled Again" Richard Wilson asks "UK's dysfunctional libel system strikes again? Newsnight feature on Trafigura disappears from BBC w…. Journalist and conservative candidate Ian Dale writes on his blog about "BBC caves in to […]


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