So I’m not sure whether to tag this as “shoot the messenger” or an attack on press freedom – or maybe both, but MANX Radio reports:
The firm at the centre of the Paradise Papers says it’s pursuing legal action against those who made allegations.
Appleby, which has a large office in Douglas, had millions of confidential files leaked earlier this year, sparking a global debate about tax ethics.
Many of them surrounded the affairs of wealthy individuals operating in the Isle of Man.
There has been speculation over the legality of the data leak since it went public in November – and now Appleby has formally hit back, saying it is ‘obliged’ to file proceedings against the UK outlets who broke many of the stories.
I know that press rules are different in the UK and other areas than they are here, but I’d love to know exactly what law(s) Appleby alleges have been violated – are they claiming that the news outlets violated law by simply receiving/possessing the leaked documents?
Bosses have demanded The Guardian and the BBC hand over the documents they’ve seen and used in investigations.
Oh my. I don’t know how that works elsewhere, but over here, there would certainly be vigorous resistance to any such demand.
The firm is also seeking damages, claiming there was ‘no public interest’ in any of the stories published.
Did the public read the stories and discuss them? Did they seek more coverage? And if so, was their interest just idle curiosity or was there something meaningful to the public about revelations in the news reports?
Both media outlets have vowed to defend themselves in any future proceedings.
I wonder if Appleby’s has heard of the Streisand Effect. I just don’t see this litigation really helping them.