As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Chris Packham cleared of assault in Malta after confronting bird hunters

BBC wildlife presenter calls on EU to push Malta towards adhering to European birds directive after case against him thrown out

Patrick Barkham

Thursday 20 April 2017 12.24 BST First published on Thursday 20 April 2017 11.18 BST

The naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham has been cleared of two counts of assault in Malta after confronting hunters who had trapped wild birds.

A Maltese magistrate dismissed the case against the BBC Springwatch presenter after Packham produced video evidence in court that showed he was jostled by a hunter while filming an interview about the illegal slaughter of birds on the island.

According to BirdLife Malta, the charity supporting Packham, the judge criticised police and suggested they send the footage to “an Italian comedy channel” because their behaviour was so farcical.

The film and sound recordings show that after Packham was manhandled by a hunter, officers arrived and pushed away the presenter, his producer and his sound recorder.

“The prosecution were blown away by the fact that we have this damning evidence,” Packham told the Guardian after the verdict. “The police said I was assaulting the hunter and pushing him around. As soon as the judge saw our video evidence, which showed it was the other way around, he was incredulous.

“We’re not going to press any charges against the police or the hunter because we’ve got better things to be doing. At the moment there are a lot of embarrassed police officers and hunters.

“This highlights the problem that BirdLife Malta face on a constant basis when they are trying to get the law implemented. We’ve all got tremendous respect for the work they do out here because it’s demoralising and frustrating.”


No comments:

Post a Comment