Undercover Mosque makers to sue West Midlands Police
The Guardian reports the excellent news that Channel 4′s Dispatches editor Kevin Sutcliffe and Hardcash Productions, makers of Undercover Mosque, have issued libel proceedings against the West Midlands Police.
The documentary exposed extremist preachers in the West Midlands calling for homosexuals to be killed, preaching jihad, and generally spouting their own peculiar brand of demented medieval bullshit. The police, having determined that no crime had been committed by the preachers (something which the documentary makers did not allege), decided instead to try to prosecute the broadcasters, accusing them of distortion and misrepresentation.
The West Midlands Police appeared be trying to ingratiate itself with the local Muslim community, the result being this most egregious example of gesture policing.
Ofcom investigated the police complaints, and completely exonerated the broadcasters on all charges.
Channel 4 is supporting the libel suit:
The statements made by both the West Midlands Police and the CPS were completely unfounded and seriously damaging to the reputation of the programme makers.
We fully support this libel action as we feel that it is the only way to vindicate their reputations and to prove this was a responsible piece of public interest journalism. These unfounded allegations brought into question Channel 4′s standards of investigative journalism and a vindication for the programme team will be a vindication for Dispatches
The broadcaster also released a statement on behalf of co-claimants, David Henshaw, Andrew Smith and John Moratiel, from Hardcash Production:
The statements made by both the West Midlands Police and the CPS were completely unfounded and seriously damaging to our reputation. We feel the only way to set the record straight once and for all is to pursue this matter through a libel action.
It’s good to get these things out in the open.