Two more quizzed over Bloody Sunday

Channel 4 News’s Thomson is awaiting a High Court hearing

Two more journalists who worked on a Channel 4 investigation into Bloody Sunday have appeared before the Saville Inquiry.

John Goddard and Tony Stark, whose documentary Secret History: Bloody Sunday was broadcast in 1991, were questioned by Lord Saville in Derry on Monday and Tuesday.

Produced by Praxis Productions, the programme used material from interviews with soldiers on duty on 30 January 1972. The documentary disguised their identities by using actors.

It is understood Goddard and Stark were not asked to reveal the identities of the soldiers at the inquiry, which is due to move to London next week.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 News reporter Alex Thomson and former producer Lena Ferguson are waiting for the date of a hearing from Northern Ireland’s High Court. Their case was referred after they refused to disclose the identity of the soldiers who took part in a programme they made in 1997.

It is now expected that the journalists will have to wait until next spring to hear whether they have been held in contempt for refusing to reveal their sources.

Richard Tait, ITN’s former editor-in-chief, oversaw the news organisation’s response to the inquiry before his retirement in the summer. Stewart Purvis, ITN’s chief executive has now taken over.

Sources say ITN will be defending the rights of whistleblowers and their freedom to pass on information to journalists anonymously, as well as the journalists’ rights to protect their sources.

The Daily Telegraph’s Washington bureau chief, Toby Harnden, is due to appear in court next month after refusing to reveal the identities of two members of the Parachute Regiment he interviewed for two articles published in 1999.

By Julie Tomlin

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