How much did PSNI Claudy challenge cost?
SDLP MLA John Dallat has demanded to know how much the PSNI's high court challenge against the broadcasting of the BBC 'Spotlight' cost. The Tuesday night programme focused on the Claudy Bombings of 1972.
The East Derry representative wants a full disclosure of the human resources and money spent on what he describes as a futile attempt to stop the media carrying out its duty to produce investigative programmes in the public interest.
He said:“The judge was quite right to throw the case out and give the PSNI a severe rap over the knuckles for their attempt to extend the boundaries of existing case law.
“Had this case succeeded there is no telling what next the Chief Constable would do to interfere in the work of investigative journalists, who have a duty to probe into many aspects of life which have had a profound impact on people’s lives.
“The Claudy Bombing, despite the fact that 38 years have passed since that dreadful day, is still of immense public interest for many reasons and hopefully the programme will assist in the continuing search for the truth, whatever that may be.
“The public have a right to know how public money is being spent particularly where there was so much damning criticism from the courts for taking this case in the first place.
“The question is: how much money which could have been used to pay the wages of community policemen to protect local neighbourhoods was squandered in the High Court? I intend to ask for answers under Freedom of Information.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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