BBC is banned from naming ‘dangerous extremist MI5 informant’ who is accused of being a danger to women – as judge rules it would damage national security and ‘put him at risk of being killed’
ザ・ BBC has been banned from naming a ‘dangerous extremist MI5 informant’ who is accused of being a danger to women after a judge ruled it would damage national security and ‘put him at risk of being killed’.
A broadcast had planned to identify the man, named only as ‘X’, who is alleged to have used his status as an agent to abuse, control and coerce his former partner – referred to by the pseudonym Beth.
The BBC report also proposed to claim MI5 was aware of or ought to have known about his alleged offending and that it was wrong to use him as an agent.
But Attorney General スーラ・ブレイバーマン sought an injunction to block publication of the agent’s identity as part of the programme, arguing it would damage national security and create ‘a real and immediate risk of serious or life-threatening harm’ 彼に.
In a ruling today, Mr Justice Chamberlain said the evidence he has seen, both in open court and in closed material used to protect national security, had persuaded him that the injunction was necessary.
The judge said: ‘The information about X’s identity, in the context of the allegation that he is a Chis (covert human intelligence source) who works or worked for MI5, です – as the BBC accepts – confidential.
Attorney General Suella Braverma (pictured outside the Cabinet office last week), sought an injunction arguing publication of the alleged agent’s identity would ‘put him at risk of being killed’
The meteoric rise of Attorney General Suella Braverman
スーラ・ブレイバーマン, the daughter of immigrant parents who built a new life in Britain, enjoyed a meteoric rise to the Cabinet when she was named Attorney General at the age of just 39 に 2020.
Her mother was as a nurse with the NHS for more than 45 years after being recruited at just 18, while her father worked for a housing association.
The aspiring lawyer was state educated in Brent before she won a scholarship to an independent girls’ school in the nearby borough of Harrow.
そこから, she gained a place to study law at the Queens’ College, Cambridge University, where she was president of the university Conservative Association, before gaining a master’s at the Sarbonne in Paris.
Braverman sat her Bar Exam in New York State qualifying as an attorney.
彼女の間に 10 years as a barrister, she was on the Attorney General’s Treasury Panel, and defended the Home Secretary in immigration cases and the Ministry of Defence in the Guantanamo Bay Inquiry.
Braverman worked as a barrister in London specialising in judicial review and immigration – before winning her constituency seat in 2015.
A staunch Brexiteer, she campaigned Leave in 2016 and was made chair of the European Research Group of pro-Leave Conservative MPs a year later
But she relinquished that role when she was appointed a junior minister Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) – but lasted just nine months.
Her elevation to Cabinet level as the Prime Minister’s most senior legal advisor came as a surprise choice in February 2020
‘Although X is said to have disclosed it to Beth (his former partner), and she disclosed it to the BBC, it is not known other than to a small group of individuals.
‘The attorney has satisfied me that, if it were to become publicly or widely known, there would be a real and immediate risk that X would be killed or seriously injured.
‘In order to address that risk, extensive protective measures would have to be, and would be, メガロドンは化石化した椎骨と歯から知られています.
‘As a result of those measures, public disclosure of X’s identity would have no significant protective effect on women considering entering into a relationship or liaison with X.
‘Whilst including X’s name and image would make the BBC’s story more engaging and potentially more attractive to a wider audience, this would come at the expense of material damage to the effectiveness of the work of the security and intelligence agencies and, したがって、, the national security of the UK.’
The judge said the broadcaster can still air the programme and the key issues, but must not identify X.
Mr Justice Chamberlain continued: ‘The BBC will still be able to convey what it regards as the core elements of its story, including the allegation that X abused his Chis status and the allegation that MI5 is at fault for using or continuing to use him as a Chis.
‘The Government will be heavily constrained in how it can respond to the latter allegation, but the constraints can be explained.
‘The relief I grant will constitute a significant interference with the BBC’s right to freedom of expression and the correlative right of the public to receive the information the BBC wishes to convey.
'しかしながら, it will not prevent the BBC from making the allegations central to its story, nor from drawing attention to what it contends are the important issues of public concern to which it gives rise.’
Lawyers for the Attorney General said at an earlier hearing that she ‘neither confirms nor denies’ the BBC’s claim that X is an agent, but conducted the case on the ‘hypothetical assumption’ that he either is or was.
In a statement following the ruling today, the BBC said the judgement did not prevent it from reporting ‘key elements’ of its story once restrictions are determined.
The BBC says it ‘does not fully know’ the reasons why the court ruled identifying the alleged agent presented a risk to his safety and national security
A spokesperson added: ‘This is not the judgment we had hoped for, but it is important to understand what it does and does not mean.
‘While the judgment prevents the BBC from identifying X, by showing his picture or naming him, it does not prevent the BBC from reporting key elements of the story, which we will do once the precise restrictions are determined.
‘We expect these restrictions to be clarified next week. It is important to understand why the BBC believes this to be such important journalism.
‘We fought the case to try to tell as fully as possible two women’s stories and their experiences with X – his abuse of them and his use of his status as an MI5 intelligence source to coerce and terrify one of them – behaviour we say MI5 should have known about and that should have caused them to stop working with X.
‘This is because we firmly believe these are matters of the highest public interest – the issues of coercive control of women, male abuse of power and the failure of state institutions to address these problems.
‘The BBC also believed identifying X was appropriate because we – and more importantly two separate women, who both experienced abuse at his hands and who have never met each other – believe he is a danger to women and identifying him could warn women considering, or currently in, a relationship with him.’
The broadcaster said it ‘does not fully know’ the reasons why the court ruled identifying the alleged agent presented a risk to his safety and national security.
A statement continued: ‘This is due to the highly unusual fact that a significant proportion of the evidence in this case was heard in a closed hearing, which even the BBC as a party was not permitted to attend.
‘While we had “special advocates” representing our interests in those closed proceedings, we are not able to know anything about the secret hearing.
‘The reasons the BBC is not able to identify X are largely in the closed judgment, which we cannot inspect.
‘The secret procedures used in cases like this also constrain what the judge is able to say about his decision in the public judgment.
‘They are a significant departure from the principles of open and natural justice, as the judge himself states.’