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Panorama
Panorama wins court battle

Panorama has won a High Court battle to allow it to use documents belonging to the Jockey Club's former security chief in a programme investigating alleged corruption in the racing industry.

Giving his decision, Mr Justice Gray at the High Court ruled that the BBC would not "be at risk of committing contempt of court if it were to proceed with the publication of the proposed Panorama programme."


This underlines Panorama's commitment to serious investigative journalism

Mike Robinson, Editor of Panorama
The Jockey Club was granted an injunction on 31 May, which bound Roger Buffham, a former security chief to a confidentiality agreement he signed on leaving his post on 15 August last year.

The agreement prevented Mr Buffham from disclosing information about his work.

Public interest

However, Mr Justice Gray ruled today that Panorama has the right on behalf of public interest to use documents in Mr Buffham's possession, despite strong opposition from the Jockey Club.

He added: "It appears to me that information revealing the existence, or apparent existence, of widescale corruption within racing is of legitimate concern to a large section of the public who either participate in racing or follow it, or who bet on the results of races."

The Jockey Club made no application to take the case to the Court of Appeal
The Jockey Club made no application to appeal against the verdict
Mike Robinson, Editor of Panorama said he was delighted with the decision.

"Panorama has always believed its investigation into corruption in horse racing and whether the Jockey Club has the backbone to regulate the sport and the business of racing is in the public interest," he said.

"We are delighted with today's High Court decision. This underlines Panorama's commitment to serious investigative journalism and the BBC's support for the programme."

The programme will be shown early in the new run of Panorama which begins on 29 September.

Commenting on the outcome of the court action, Christopher Foster, Executive Director of the Jockey Club said:

"The Jockey Club has never wished to stand in the way of the BBC making a programme about criminal activity in racing and the effectiveness of the Jockey Club as regulator.

"However it is also our duty to preserve the confidence of secret intelligence documents, disclosure of which might have made us less effective in carrying out our regulatory role."

The Jockey Club has made no application to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

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