Bid to injunct Channel 4 fails

Interview with Equatorial Guinea coup attempt 'manager' is broadcast

Channel 4 last night broadcast an interview with British mercenary Simon Mann after Mann’s family failed in their bid to injunct the programme last Friday.


The family obtained a without notice injunction the previous week. The judge who granted the injunction, Openshaw J, ruled that broadcasting the interview, in which Mann confesses to being the ‘manager’ of a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea in 2004, could seriously harm Mann’s prospects of a fair trial. Mann faces a trial this month in Equatorial Guinea on charges relating to the foiled plot.


Channel 4 applied last Thursday to overturn the injunction on the grounds that Mann had freely consented to the broadcast. On the second day of the hearing, the family abandoned their attempt to uphold the injunction after Mann’s brother and sister returned to Britain after visiting Mann in prison.


Channel 4 then faced a further injunction application from one of the individuals named by Mann in connection with the plot, Eli Calil. However, the application was withdrawn shortly before it was due to be heard at 10am yesterday.


5RB’s Desmond Browne QC and Adam Wolanski (instructed by Charles Russell) acted for Channel 4. 5RB’s William Bennett (instrutcted by Collyer Bristow) was junior counsel for Eli Calil.