Raajje TV disputes legal threat from BBC after airing Hardtalk recording

Local private television channel Raajje TV has disputed claims made by the local media that the BBC has threatened to take legal action against the station, after it released a live telecast of an interview with former President Mohamed Nasheed that was to be shown on the BBC’s Hardtalk Program.

Nasheed recorded the interview in the Raajje TV studio and spoke to Hardtalk presenter Stephen Sackur over the phone.

The interview concerned Nasheed’s allegations that he had been forced to resign and was effectively ousted in to a coup d’état on Tuesday February 7. The show was scheduled to be aired on Thursday night, by Raajje TV, but was live broadcasted during its recording last night.

Local media Haveeru reported that BBC had threatened to take legal action, citing an alleged email forwarded to Raaje TV from Hard Talk producer, Heather Shiels.

In the email Sheils expressed her disappointment over the actions of Raaje TV, which she described as a “clear breach of both contract and copyright and the BBC editorial guidelines,” Haveeru reported.  “We have asked our lawyers to investigate this matter.”

Speaking to Minivan News, Raaje TV Deputy CEO Abdulla Yameen refuted the claims, saying that “nobody from our organisation has received an email from the BBC threatening take legal action against us”.

He said that the local media is reporting the claims because they could not “digest the popularity” Raajje TV has gained recently for the up to date coverage of the intense political unrest in the Maldives.

“Our action [the live telecast] was solely based on the negotiations we had with the BBC,” Yameen said, adding that the channel had not violated any copyright law.

In an earlier edition of Hardtalk aired in December 2010, Nasheed was grilled on his adherence to human rights, the Maldives’ financial condition and its commitment to combating climate change.

Nasheed on Hardtalk part 1/3

Nasheed on Hardtalk part 2/3

Nasheed on Hardtalk 3/3