Author Topic: Bulgaria calls BBC reporters criminals  (Read 1731 times)

Offline Sao Paulo

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Bulgaria calls BBC reporters criminals
« on: August 12, 2007, 12:14:27 PM »
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London. The BBC has become embroiled in an escalating row with the Bulgarian government after the interior ministry alleged that two of the corporation???s reporters had criminal records.
The accusations were made in the wake of a report on child trafficking that was aired on the BBC Ten O???Clock News on July 26. It claimed Bulgarians were selling babies to British couples.
The investigation, which included hidden camera footage, claimed Hasan Ahmed Hasan, 39, a Bulgarian, tried to sell a baby for £40,000 to a reporter who posed as a wealthy Briton in the Black Sea port of Varna.
The Bulgarian police rejected the report as ???biased???, claiming reporters incited Hasan with a reward. Hasan was questioned by police but released without charge.
Last week the affair took a fresh twist when the Bulgarian interior ministry claimed on its official website that two of the reporters involved in compiling the BBC report had criminal convictions.
It alleged that one BBC freelance had been convicted of conspiracy to defraud in 1994 and had also been convicted of drink driving.
It also claimed another reporter had been cautioned for common assault.
The accusations were published along with the passport numbers, full names and dates of birth of the reporters. The government claimed the information had been provided by Interpol.
In a statement yesterday the BBC said: ???We regret the publication of what is clearly confidential information and personal details that would endanger the safety of individuals concerned. We, the BBC, continue to stand by our original report.???
Bulgarian lawyers have criticised the ministry for revealing personal information about the BBC reporters, which they say was done for ???propaganda??? purposes. (The Times)


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Offline Sao Paulo

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RE: Bulgaria calls BBC reporters criminals
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2007, 11:16:22 AM »
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Bulgarian authorities had not received yet the BBC video footage incriminating Bulgarian citizen in human trafficking Interior Minister Roumen Petkov said.

Petkov said that he thought highly of BBC as media, but the fact that it had not yet sent the footage, made him think that there was a slanderous campaign against Bulgaria.

Bulgaria demanded the footage on July 27 2007, he said.

A huge controversy erupted when BBC reported of Bulgarian citizen who tried to sell a baby to reporters under cover. Police arrested and later released the alleged trafficker due to lack of proofs. According to authorities in Bulgaria, the BBC reporters had previous criminal record.

Petkov also said that local police registered a number of false robbery complaints from foreigners since the beginning of summer 2007.

He said that he would be ???uncompromising??? with the false frauds, regardless their origin. Insurance companies were mostly affected by the frauds, but such cases harmed Bulgaria???s image, according to Petkov.


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