BBC ordered to publish Dyke papers


LONDON -- The BBC has been ordered to publish internal documents revealing why former director general Greg Dyke was fired in 2004 after a tribunal ordered that the minutes of the relevant BBC governors meeting be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The former director general and then-BBC chairman Gavyn Davies were forced out of office after the pubcaster was severely criticized in a report on its news coverage of the government's decision to go to war with Iraq.

The BBC has resisted the call to release the documents for nearly two years, but its case to keep the documents secret was dismissed as "unimpressive, meager and unrealistic," by Andrew Bartlett, the lawyer heading the tribunal.

The application to release the documents was made by the Guardian newspaper and by a group of open government campaigners.

Senior figures at the BBC said the move to release the documents -- which had Dyke's backing -- could potentially prove embarrassing for the former director general.

"It's one of those cases when you should be careful what you wish for. I've read the minutes and they can be read in more than one way," one unnamed senior BBC figure said.

A spokeswoman for the pubcaster said that the BBC had only just received the judgment and that the matter was in now the hands of the BBC Trust.

"The BBC Trust will consider the matter and respond as soon as possible," she said, declining comment on whether the pubcaster would attempt to block the decision with a legal appeal or would simply publish the papers.