Court halts screening of Guinness documentary

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The Independent Online
A CHANNEL 4 documentary on the Guinness affair due to go out yesterday afternoon had to be cancelled after Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, obtained an injunction preventing its screening.

The second programme in Greed and Glory - a three-part series probing financial scandals of the Eighties - was to include extracts from the unpublished inquiry by Department of Trade and Industry inspectors into the Guinness scandal.

However, Mr Justice Mervyn Davies granted the ex parte injunction at 4pm on Saturday after Treasury solictors argued that screening the extracts would have constituted a breach of confidence.

Channel 4, which is to fight the injunction on Wednesday, described it as a 'bolt from the blue'. 'We had the option of cutting certain parts of the programme but we were not prepared to do that,' a spokesman said.

It hopes to show the original programme, made by Fulcrum Productions, next Sunday, although it will make the necessary cuts if its lawyers fail to have the injunction lifted.

The DTI also claimed the programme might have been prejudicial to Thomas Ward, a former lawyer and non-executive director of Guinness still to face trial over the alleged illegal share support scheme in its takeover of Distillers.