Court backs Channel 4 over Sinn Fein film

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The Independent Online
A PROGRAMME-maker yesterday won a court ruling against a police attempt to gain access to film about Sinn Fein and the IRA, writes Marianne Macdonald.

Just Television, makers of Channel 4's The Brief, had been told by Scotland Yard to hand over research material relating to the series under a Prevention of Terrorism Act production order, but it was discharged by Judge Clarkson QC at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

The order dealt with an item broadcast on 19 April which suggested that the vacuum created by distrust for the legitimate forces of law and order in Londonderry had been filled by Sinn Fein and the IRA. As a result, an unofficial 'justice' system of beatings and kneecappings had developed.

The makers had always maintained that the material would be useless to police and, supported by Channel 4, fought the order.