BBC man will not testify at terror trial

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The Independent Online

The BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner, has said that he would not wish to give evidence against the man accused of taking part in a terrorist attack which left the British reporter paralysed and his cameraman murdered.

Gardner was ambushed by a gang of Islamist terrorists in June last year while he was trying to film a report in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.

The BBC correspondent, who was last month awarded an OBE for services to journalism,was shot six times and left for dead. His cameraman, Simon Cumbers, was killed. After 12 operations, Gardner, whose spinal nerves were severed in the attack, returned to work in April.

In an interview published today in The Independent's Media Weekly, Gardner said that he did not wish to give evidence at any forthcoming trial, at which the accused would face a death sentence.

The journalist added: "I would not be able to positively identify this person anyhow. The attack happened so quickly I would not be able to say. You are talking here about sentencing somebody to death, effectively, if you say, 'Yes, that's the guy.' I could never be sure enough."