The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

Watch: BBC journalist Chris Packham releases footage after he was acquitted of assaulting trappers

Thursday, 20 April 2017, 11:41 Last update: about 9 months ago

BBC journalist and environmental activist Chris Packham was this morning acquitted of assaulting two trappers. Mr Packham was arraigned before the Gozo courts over an incident that took place earlier this week.

The activist had said he was innocent of the charges and footage provided to the courts showed that he had done nothing wrong.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud, who presided over the arraignment, said journalists were an important part of democracy and should be protected. He acquitted Mr Packham over lack of proof.

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In a tweet just after the sentence, Mr Packham said: "Not guilty. And wait until you see the evidence."

He later released a video on Youtube (above) with "undercover filming (that) clearly shows the verbal and physical assault on his team by a Gozo resident suspected of keeping illegally trapped birds." 

Yesterday he said in a Twitter video: "Two trappers claimed that I assaulted them. I've been charged with using force against any person with the intention to insult or hurt them. I'm completely innocent of these charges." Mr Packham said he was the one who had been pushed around, including by a policeman, who had pushed him "all the way up the street". 

Mr Packham has spent the last few days filming illegal trapping and hunting in Malta. He uploaded a number of tweets, including a picture of an illegally shot Stone Curlew and trapping hides in Mizieb.

Mr Packham has documented illegal trapping and hunting in Malta for several years now and is no stranger to controversy. The BBC journalist was arrested and held in custody for several hours back in 2014. 

 

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