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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Handover order on Oval riot tapes
The BBC and UTV have been ordered to give police their footage of the rioting which followed last month's Glentoran/Linfield football match.

Police believe more rioters could be identified with access to the pictures.

But the broadcasters had refused to hand over tapes on the grounds that it would endanger camera crews.

Recorder of Belfast Judge Tom Burgess said in striking the balance he felt it fell on the side of the public interest in the prosecution of offences.

Nine men have now been charged over the violence which followed the Irish League decider at the Oval in east Belfast.

Two men charged with affray on Thursday will appear in court on 24 May.

Nine police officers and two fans were injured after supporters of the two Belfast teams threw missiles at each and fought on the pitch.

Judge Burgess said the material sought by the police could identify those not already made amenable and would also provide best evidence in relation to those who had been identified as playing a leading role in alleged offences.


He said the broadcasters' argument regarding the risk to cameramen was one to which the court had to give anxious thought.

"I am quite satisfied that the perpetrators, if they give any thought to anything, would be aware of the presence of cameras," he said.

The judge said footage of rioting had been the subject of such cases in the past.

"There is no evidence to date that those involved have sought to seek retribution against cameramen."

He ordered the BBC and UTV to hand over all the tapes in their possession but said they must be returned once the purpose had been served and must only be used to identify offenders and for no other purpose.

Police apply for TV riot footage
17 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
Police appeal on football trouble
25 Apr 05 |  Northern Ireland


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