24 August 2017

“The BBC stands by its journalism...”

A defamation suit against BBC journalist Jonathan Head has been dropped by the plaintiff. The case stemmed from a televised report into fraud on the island of Phuket, broadcast on BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on 18th September 2015. The report alleged that a lawyer practising in Phuket had certified a forged signature, and he sued for the damage caused to his professional reputation.

In Thailand, defamation is a criminal offence, making investigative reporting a legal minefield. The BBC defended its reporting in a statement issued after the defamation suit was filed: “The BBC stands by its journalism and we will fight the allegations made against our correspondent by these proceedings.” That position was vindicated today when the charges were dropped.