In May 2009, Guardian head of investigations, David Leigh, reported that Trafigura was suing the BBC’s Newsnight programme for libel.
Seven months later on 10 December, Richard Wilson, of the Don’t Get Fooled Again blog, claimed that the BBC’s Trafigura feature from May 2009 had disappeared from the BBC’s site. The text, however, was still available via the Google cache. A video of the missing film soon appeared on YouTube.
Journalism.co.uk followed up this latest development – the disappearance of the feature on alleged dumping of toxic waste in Cote d’Ivoire – with BBC Newsnight, via its press office on Monday.
In response, after checking with the lawyers, a spokesperson said: “We haven’t got anything to say on this. As discussed earlier we are often not able to comment if there’s a live legal action.”
Trafigura’s law firm Carter-Ruck has not yet issued a statement, Journalism.co.uk was told when we contacted them for comment.
Yesterday, the New Statesman reported that the story had disappeared; Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, among others, then shared the NS article link on Twitter.
The full text of the feature and copy of the video has now appeared on Wikileaks.
Richard Wilson, author of Don’t Get Fooled and central blogger in the Trafigura/Guardian/Carter-Ruck episode, reports back from a meeting of the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights which focused on ‘super-injunctions’.
Wilson, along with journalists, editors, MPs, Lords and lawyers (including two senior partners from Carter-Ruck) took part:
“[N]o one knows how many secret super-injunctions are currently in force. While the UK state seems bent on meticulously recording every detail of its citizens phone, email and web-browsing habits, it is positively lackadaisical about tracking its own media gagging orders. While each individual super-injunction is (we have to hope) being kept on file somewhere by the judiciary, no-one, anywhere, is collating information about the overall picture.”
Full story at this link…
As noted by Richard Wilson, author of Don’t Get Fooled Again, and one of the bloggers to first publish MP Paul Farrelly’s secret injunction question on his blog, Trafigura – the third largest independent oil trader in the world – has been dropped as a sponsor of what was formerly the Trafigura Art Prize.
Cynthia Corbett’s art prize will no longer be sponsored by Trafigura, and will instead be renamed the Young Masters Art Prize, a release from the gallery stated.
“Since the prize was conceived two years ago we approached various art foundations and corporate organizations to sponsor an art prize. We feel that the recent events involving Trafigura are detracting from the main purpose of the prize, which is to celebrate emerging and newly established artists,” said Corbett.
Sixteen international artists are currently exhibiting work at the Young Masters exhibition, which opened at The Old Truman Brewery last week (the day before Trafigura dropped its injunction against the Guardian) with over 1200 visitors. The prize will seek funding for the prize money from alternative sponsors in future years; this year the prize will be non-monetary, the release stated.
Richard Wilson is currently hosting the ‘Alternative Trafigura Art Prize’.
For the latest on the Guardian-Trafigura-Carter-Ruck injunction triangle, see Journalism.co.uk stories at this link.