Murdoch’s Sun tabloid claims man traveled through Europe without passport, then pulls story
Newspaper beats a hasty retreat after the Croatian Interior Ministry disputes the tabloid’s report, produces scan of the reporter’s passport to prove it checked his documents
The Sun, the UK’s largest circulation newspaper, has withdrawn a story which claims its reporter was able to travel through Europe without a passport, attempting to trace the steps the paper says terrorists have taken.
But the story, written by Emile Ghessen, and which first appeared as a two-page spread in its Sunday edition, was pulled from the tabloid’s website after Croatian officials produced a scan of Ghessen’s passport to prove that they had seen his passport upon entering the country.
“The Police Directorate have denied part of the text published on the website of the British newspaper The Sun, part of which was published as a journalist went through the Republic of Croatia, while over him at any time is not carried out border control by the Croatian police,” the Croatian Interior Ministry said in a statement.
“In fact, it is a false and inaccurate claims because the Croatian border police recorded Emile Pierre Ghessena 23.11.2015. at 14:10 hours at the railway border crossing Tovarnik when entering the Republic of Croatia, while it is 24.11. at 17:20 hours recorded at the airport border crossing Zagreb (airport Pleso) at the exit of the Republic of Croatia,” the statement continued.
“I am glad when the police quickly finds liars like these, so-called professional journalists, and catch them lying about hiding in a toilet where they belong, together with the newspapers which employ them”, Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojić wrote on his Facebook page.
The Sun’s US counterpart, the Post, was lambasted by critics following the attack in San Bernardino when it ran a front page with the headline Muslim Killers. The headline had previously been Murder Mission but was changed as soon as it was confirmed that the shooters were Muslim.
A spokesman for the Sun quoted by The Guardian as saying that the paper is “currently investigating concerns that have been raised about this story. The journalist concerned is not a member of the Sun’s staff but a freelance documentary maker, whose work has been used by national broadcasters, newspapers and websites.”
Well, that makes it alright then, no?