BBC wins legal fight over 'corrupt racing' papers

By John Aston,Pa News
Friday 31 January 2014 04:46

The BBC today won a High Court battle for the right to use documents from the Jockey Club's former security chief in a Panorama programme concerning allegations of corruption in racing.

A judge said the move was "in the public interest" because of the "existence, or apparent existence, of widescale corruption within racing".

The Jockey Club was granted an injunction on May 31 which bound Roger Buffham to the confidentiality agreement he signed on leaving his post as head of security in August last year.

But the BBC returned to court to gain access to the use of certain documents.

Today Mr Justice Gray, sitting at the High Court in London, ruled they could be used, despite Jockey Club objections.

Giving the go-ahead, the judge said: "Doing the best I can to weigh in the balance these competing considerations, I have come to the conclusion that - in relation to those passages from the documents upon which the BBC intends to rely in its forthcoming programme - the public interest in disclosure outweighs the right of confidence of the Jockey Club."

He added: "It appears to me that information revealing the existence, or apparent existence, of widescale corruption within racing is of legitimate concern to a large section of the public who either participate in racing or follow it, or who bet on the results of races.

"The fact that hard evidence of criminality may be lacking does not negate the legitimacy of this concern."