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Court denies release of BBC Middle East report

    The High Court today dealt a significant blow to a five-year-old campaign to force the BBC to publish a report into its Middle East coverage.

    London solicitor Steven Sugar has battled since January 2005 for the release of the so-called Balen report, compiled in 2004, under the Freedom of Information Act.

    His efforts have led to several legal hearings, even reaching the House of Lords earlier this year.

    But in a judgment released today, Mr Justice Irwin said that the Balen report was exempt from disclosure because it dealt with journalism.

    He said that the Information Tribunal, which had ruled in favour of Mr Sugar three years ago, had been in error.

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