Tech

Chris Packham charged with assault in Malta

Chris Packham charged with assault in Malta

The magistrate described the whole hearing as "time-wasting".

Springwatch presenter Chris Packham said he has been cleared of assault as he filmed a documentary on illegal bird trapping after the case was thrown out by a magistrate in Malta.

Packham said that, just hours before the incident, he had called police after seeing what he thought was a cage full of birds, including some protected species.

He said he is due to appear in court at 9am on Thursday.

Tweeting after the incident on Tuesday the campaigner said: "Malta!"

On Thursday morning, before his first court appearance, Packham shared a picture of himself dressed in a suit ready for the hearing. Weird that. And weird that [we'd] given a list of these birds to the police earlier in the day, but he wasn't arrested, and he's not going to court. I am.

"He even suggested that our footage should be sent to an Italian comedy channel and remarked at some point: 'Is it any wonder we have problems when the police are acting like this?'"

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Packham has vehemently denied the allegations and hit out at the bird hunters' decision to take him to court.

"Whilst Chris and the team stood back, the police joined them", the agent said.

Chris, who said he spent three hours at a police station following Tuesday's confrontation, said the saga had been "time-wasting, money-wasting and intimidation".

He added: "Obviously we've had to give up our time today for this, where we could be out looking for illegal activity and reporting it".

"We've come out here not as people from the United Kingdom wagging their finger at the Maltese, not even as Europeans - seeing as we're still part of the EU - but just as people who are concerned about the birds", he said.

European Union restrictions on the hunting of birds make two exceptions for Malta - allowing people to hunt turtle doves and quail in the spring, under strict regulations.

Packham is in Malta to film the documentary Malta: Massacre on Migration.


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