Maxwell man's injunction fails

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ROBERT BUNN, former finance director of the private side of Robert Maxwell's business empire, yesterday lost his attempt to block transmission of a BBC documentary on Sunday which contains details of a confession he made to police in 1992.

Mr Justice Lightman ruled in the High Court yesterday that Mr Bunn's confession to dishonest behaviour was in the public domain as it had been referred to in court during the first Maxwell trial.

Mr Bunn's lawyers issued a writ on Wednesday seeking an injunction against the BBC over its programme Nightmare on Elm Street, the second in the BBC2 series "Fraudbusters".

Mr Bunn's writ claimed that the confession which he made to police in 1992 and which was subsequently obtained by the programme was confidential.

Mr Bunn's writ had also sought an injunction against Gollancz, publishers of a book Fraudbusters by the series producer and writer Mark Killik. Mr Justice Lightman rejected this application as well.

A transcript of the interview, which took place at Snow Hill Police station in London in October 1992 with Detective Inspector Stephen Morgan, shows that shares in Berlitz International were pledged illegally as collateral for bank loans by the Maxwell private companies in order to raise funds.

DI Morgan states: "... So that would amount to an illegal use of the Berlitz shares?" Mr Bunn replies: "That's correct". DI Morgan: "You were in effect deceiving the Toronto Dominion Bank?" Mr Bunn: "Yes".

DI Morgan continues: "On the face of it, you've been involved here on a series of occasions in deceiving banks by telling them that shares that you believe are owned by Maxwell Communications are in fact owned by Robert Maxwell Group?" Mr Bunn: "That's right." DI Morgan: "And you'd accept that you acted dishonestly on these occasions?" Mr Bunn: "Yes".

In the first Maxwell trial Mr Bunn was among a series of defendants, including the tycoon's sons Kevin and Ian Maxwell, who were accused on fraud and theft charges. The defendants were cleared on all the charges. A judge later ruled that a second Maxwell trial would be "unfair" on the defendants.