Sugar’s widow fights on

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JESSICA ELGOT

THE WIDOW OF so­lic­i­tor Steven Sugar, who spent six years in the courts to try to force the BBC to pub­lish its re­port about anti-Is­rael bias, will rep­re­sent him when the case is heard at the Supreme Court on Novem­ber 23.

A full court hear­ing was set for Fe­bru­ary 2011 to de­cide whether the BBC should re­lease the Balen Re­port, an in­ter­nal as­sess­ment of its cov­er­age of the Mid­dle East. But Mr Sugar, 61, died of cancer in Jan­uary.

Mr Sugar be­lieved the re­port would re­veal bias against Is­rael, but the BBC has so far spent £270,000 to pre­vent the re­port, by its se­nior edi­tor Mal­colm Balen, from be­ing re­leased, win­ning in the In­for­ma­tion Tri­bunal, the High Court and the Court of Ap­peal.

It has re­lied on a clause in the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act, which says in­for­ma­tion does not have to be shared if it is for “jour­nal­ism, art or lit­er­a­ture”.

Steven Sugar’s widow, Fiona Pave­ley, 48, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, will see the case through. She said: “I don’t feel as strongly by any means as Steven did about the is­sue it­self. But I do feel very strongly that I had to be the one to carry it on. I never re­ally had any doubt that I would. It’s re­ally im­por­tant we put up our best fight. I would just love us to win, for his sake.”

MrSu­garhadsug­gest­ed­pur­su­ingthe case to the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights as his last legal op­tion.

A Supreme Court spokesman said: “The case will ef­fec­tively es­tab­lish the test for what con­sti­tutes a doc­u­ment held for jour­nal­is­tic pur­poses.”

Four of the five judges due to hear the case also ruled on the JFS school ad­mis­sions case in 2009.

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