BBC Responds to Wetangula Lawsuit

  • The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has denied defamatory allegations filed by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, following a documentary that linked the Senator to a corruption scandal at the British American Tobacco (BAT) company.

    In papers presented before the High Court, the BBC stated that Wetangula was given an opportunity to respond to the startling revelations by whistle blower Paul Hopkins, before the investigative piece was aired.

    "We gave the plaintiff the opportunity to respond to the allegations in person. The plaintiff had the opportunity to provide me with a further explanation in writing but did not take the opportunity," Richard Henry John Cookson producer of the documentary stated.

    The Corporation's lawyers told High Court Judge Roselyn Aburili, that Senator Wetangula did not give details explaining why the emails incriminating him in the documentary could have been faked.

    "Although the plaintiff was clear in his denials, he gave me no credible motive why anyone would have forged the Wetang'ula email or why Mr Hopkin and employee B would have invented the story about him." a report by The Standard quoted.

    BBC defended its broadcast, highlighting that it clearly reported that Wetangula had distanced himself from the claims, hence, leaving no doubt in the viewer's mind that he (Wetangula) was guilty.

    It added that the investigative piece detailing the alleged corruption scandal at BAT was necessary as it was in the interest of the public.

    Last year, Wetangula was mentioned as one of the politicians and civil servants in different African countries who were bribed by BAT in order to defy the set anti-smoking laws.

    According to the expose`, BAT bought business class return tickets for Wetangula's wife to London as a form of bribe.

    Read Also:  Wetangula in International Corruption Scandal

    Following the explosive details that caught the attention of international media, the CORD co-principal denied the allegations and moved to court to block BBC from airing the documentary, stating that the international media house had defamed him.

    High Court judge went ahead to bar BBC from airing the piece until the case was heard.

    Read Also: BBC Stopped From Mentioning Wetangula in BAT Scandal

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