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Prince Andrew and the fall of BBC journalism

Starting with an apology...

Now, I must start by apologising to you, my readers, along with my fellow co-editor Janice, and our other contributors, for the fact I have not been able to write an article for a month. This has not been due to any lack of interest or motivation, but sadly, has been due to my time being almost entirely taken up by my involvement in litigation against my \"landlord\" of a number of years, who believes that it is right and proper behaviour to evict a tenant when a court has expressly told your lawyer that the order of eviction was given due to a court administrative error, and where the dispute surrounds \"unpaid rent\" for a property where two separate fire inspections have found the property to be unsafe (by virtue of an unsafe and unlicensed 2,000 litre fuel storage tank, along with a oil powered heating boiler having been installed at the bottom of the fire stairs, both serious fire and safety risks, not only to me and my family, but also being a risk to all those living anywhere near the property). All this is ongoing, (to the surprise of those who doubt the ability of the Cyprus justice system to move matters forward, I can inform you that the matter will be going to a full hearing in early September).

So, our life has been rather up and down from that date in early March when the police arrived and told us we had to leave, now, and somehow expected us to move a three bedroom house for a family with no notice from them. For those who don\'t know how this kind of thing goes down, they showed up at some time in the morning, just after a bank holiday when the courts had been closed, at the door of said 3 bedroom apartment, and quite insistently told both me and my partner that we had to be out of the house immediately, and then said that if I was still in the property when they came back in an hour or so (giving no actual indication as to whether they were going for a coffee, or to actually do some useful Police business. They simply presented us a court order which the Judge who had issued it had previously informed both me and the lawyer for the other side at a previous court hearing (one which occurred less than two hours after the Judge had issued the eviction order in the first place) that the order had been issued \"due to a court administrative error\" (court staff had in writing advised me the hearing when he made the order started 1 hour 45 minutes after it did) and that the only reason he had made the order was that I was not \"in court\" at the time the court sitting had actually begun, and said \"get out now, or I will arrest you now\".

So with the above said, as reader I am happy to inform you that you can expect that I will be publishing a series of articles in the near future based on our recent experiences, ranging from discussing my experiences with the legal system here in Cyprus, the similarities and differences in the rental and property market (both highlighting aspects legal and societal), and honest and unbiased reviews of the products and suppliers who I deal with,

And now, let\'s talk about the BBC...

The Prince Andrew, Epstein story, as a journalist is fascinating. The arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, for a collection of somewhat indirect alleged offences noted in a Grand Jury indictment are clearly primarily selected to \"get around\" the immunity clause which was previously agreed with the US Federal Department of Justice.

But my purpose today is not to go into a case surrounding the alleged criminal behaviour of Ghislaine Maxwell, but rather to look at the way this has been covered by the BBC.

The BBC Newsnight Video of 6 Jul 2020, with 597,626 views as of time of publishing
Must cooperate?

The video, from the title and the description, clearly states \"Sir Keir Starmer says Prince Andrew must cooperate with the FBI over his links to Jeffrey Epstein.\"

The source of this, is an LBC report, which can be found 2 minutes 28 seconds into the video.

LBC Interviewer - Does Prince Andrew need to cooperate with the US to put this to bed

Starmer - Well of course he should cooperate with the US

LBC Interviewer - are you disappointed he hasn\'t, Sir Kier?

Starmer - Well he will have to justify his own actions, but it doesn\'t matter who you are, you cooperate with the law enforcement authorities when they require you to do so.

The rest of the BBC\'s video then goes on to state Prince Andrew\'s claim that he has offered to cooperate 3 times, and to postulate that the type of cooperation he has offered may not be the type of cooperation the US authorities consider meets their needs, as prosecutors.

But here is the key, \"of course he should cooperate\", and \"it doesn\'t matter who you are, you cooperate with the law enforcement authorities when they require you to do so\" are materially different to \"Prince Andrew must cooperate\".

Sir Kier Starmer\'s actual statements in effect claim that there is a moral and social obligation, to cooperating with the Police, they do not, however, suggest a legal requirement to do so.

The BBC should not make up quotes (even Boris Johnson knows that making things up in journalism isn\'t a good thing to do, but mind you, he did become PM...).

They ought report the facts to the public accurately, correctly quoting the individuals concerned, if they want to remain a trusted news source.

The headline for the video piece, and the description the BBC have used for the video, are both misleading, and simply put, false.

And now the real problem

If the press can\'t accurately report a radio interview, with a senior political figure, and feel it necessary to embellish the account, surely that same press deserves not to be trusted when presenting any other \"facts\" to the public regarding the matter.

This may seem pedantic, but in matters of law, especially when serious allegations of criminal behaviour have been alleged, accurately reporting the statements made of those who are claimed to be witnesses, is critical, to ensure justice is served.