Channel 4 under fire over film on mosque preachers

Channel 4 came under fire from Muslim groups yesterday after the Crown Prosecution Service accused it of “completely distorting” an edition of its documentary strand Dispatches that went undercover in some of Britain’s biggest mosques. Following the latest allegation of underhand editing to hit broadcasters, Channel 4 defended the film and said it was “shocked and baffled” at the accusations from West Midlands police and the CPS. The police force said that after investigating three preachers featured in the film for potentially inciting racial hatred and concluding there was insufficient evidence, it turned its attention to the programme makers. Bethan David, a CPS lawyer, reviewed 56 hours of footage and concluded: “The splicing together of extracts from longer speeches appears to have completely distorted what the speakers were saying.” While the CPS said there were not sufficient grounds for charges against Channel 4, it had passed the matter to media regulator Ofcom as an official complaint.