Sir Cliff wins key court bat­tle against BBC

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

SIR Cliff Richard, pic­tured, has scored a key vic­tory in his bat­tle with the BBC, af­ter a judge or­dered the broad­caster to re­veal in­for­ma­tion about the source of its false sex abuse claims.

The BBC must dis­close whether it was tipped off by some­one linked to the Met Po­lice unit ex­am­in­ing sex­abuse al­le­ga­tions in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion co­de­named Op­er­a­tion Yewtree.

The BBC has been fight­ing to keep this in­for­ma­tion se­cret, say­ing it had a duty to pro­tect its jour­nal­is­tic sources.

How­ever, a judge weighed this up against Richard’s right to a fair trial, and de­cided that the BBC must give “a proper an­swer”.

The or­der is the lat­est salvo in Richard’s long-run­ning le­gal row with the BBC over the way it re­ported false claims that he was a sex abuser in 2014.

The cor­po­ra­tion broke the story that the 76-year-old singer was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and – con­tro­ver­sially – had a pha­lanx of jour­nal­ists and a he­li­copter wait­ing for po­lice as they ar­rived to raid his £3 mil­lion (R50.8m) home in Sun­ning­dale, Berk­shire.

Richard was su­ing the BBC for “very sub­stan­tial” dam­ages for the de­pres­sion, dis­tress and hu­mil­i­a­tion he suf­fered as a re­sult. He also sued the South York­shire Po­lice, and ac­cepted an undis­closed sum to set­tle that case last week.

As part of his bat­tle with the BBC, Richard has tried to find out more about how news of the al­le­ga­tions was leaked. He de­manded that its ed­i­tors dis­close whether the source of in­for­ma­tion was some­one work­ing for Op­er­a­tion Yewtree.

Judge An­thony Mann said Richard’s right to a fair trial out­weighed the risk of the BBC ex­pos­ing its source.

The BBC does not have to name the in­di­vid­ual who gave the tip-off – just whether they were part of Op­er­a­tion Yewtree.

The cor­po­ra­tion said on Tues­day it was con­sid­er­ing whether to ap­peal the de­ci­sion. – Daily Mail

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