Coroner demands BBC risk report

Police have requested the BBC to supply its risk assessment reports to a coroner’s court investigating the murder of one of its journalists in Somalia.

Kate Peyton, a producer based in Johannesburg, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman outside her hotel in Mogadishu while on assignment for the BBC in 2005.

Speaking about the order, a spokeswoman for Bury St Edmund’s coroner told Press Gazette: “I can confirm that is the case. In this particular case that is what the coroner has instructed the police to do, to request reports with regards to risk assessment. The police are investigating the matter on behalf of the coroner.”

Reporters Without Borders Africa desk officer Leonard Vincent said he had never come across a case where an international news organisation had been ordered by a court to provide a risk assessment report.

According to RWB, the press freedom group’s primary concern regarding Peyton is focused on forcing the local authorities in Somalia to take action.

The BBC denied reports that its staff at the Somali service were unaware that Peyton was going to be working in the country.

A BBC spokeswoman told Press Gazette: “The BBC takes the safety of its staff very seriously. We are recognised as setting industry-wide standards with regards to the health and security of our journalists.”

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