Friday, October 12, 2007

'Dispatches' documentary on extremists angered Saudis

by Philip Johnston from The Telegraph

The Saudi role was revealed in a letter from David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, to Paul Goodman, the Conservative communities spokesman. He said his predecessor told the Saudi ambassador in January that ''Channel Four was an independent television channel and that as such the UK Government had no control over their output. Subsequently, officials met with the Saudi embassy on Feb 15 and reiterated these points." No one at the Saudi embassy was immediately available to comment ... Mr Goodman said the letter raised questions over the Saudi involvement. in the affair. Mr Goodman added: ''In general, the Saudis should bear in mind Britain's traditional culture of press freedom. Media inquiries into Wahabism, however unwelcome to them, are part of that freedom, which must be preserved."

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