Beeb Ordered to Hand Over Raw Footage From Intifada Documentary

A US judge ordered the BBC to release raw footage from a decade-old documentary to American victims of Palestinian terror.

The victims and their families — who filed a lawsuit against the PA claiming it funded terror groups — argued that raw footage of Jeremy Bowen’s interviews with Yasser Arafat and two gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Brigades may contain statements linking several bombings to the PA/PLO.

The Independent writes:

The BBC resisted the application, arguing that complying with the demand would compromise its editorial independence and damage its ability to gather news.

In a ruling obtained by The Independent, the American judge said he was “sceptical” that the unbroadcasted footage would provide the proof sought but threw out the Corporation’s objection, saying the recordings were not confidential and not covered by “journalistic privilege” designed to protect reporters’ investigations.

Judge Ronald Ellis said: “The outtakes are not confidential material because the BBC is free to disseminate any portions of the interviews . . .

Why do the victims believe that Bowen’s documentary, Arafat Investigated, contains a “smoking gun?”

The material in the New York case relates to interviews with Ata Abu Rumaileh, the leader of Fatah in Jenin, and Zakaria Zubaidi, a claimed leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank city.

In the broadcasted section of the programme, the two men are claimed to have made statements describing Al Aqsa as being part of Fatah and under the control of Arafat, who died in Paris in 2004. . .

The American victims believe the unused interview will help prove their case that Fatah and Al Aqsa were closely connected and thus render the PLO and the Palestinian Authority liable for damages under US anti-terrorism laws.

I hope the Beeb will be more forthcoming now than its been with the Balen report. It spent a half-million bucks of public money covering that up.