I was blackmailed by Bashir, says child prodigy’s father – Mail on Sunday

I was blackmailed by Bashir, says child prodigy’s father

By Louisa Pritchard February 23 2003

The Mail on Sunday Controversial TV journalists Martin Bashir has been hauled before the Broadcasting Standards Commission after being accused of blackmail by one of his interviewees.

Farooq Yusof, father of runaway child prodigy Sufiah told the commission at a private hearing in London on Wednesday that Bashir had claimed to have vital information about his missing daughter — but would reveal it only if Mr. Yusof would appear in a Bashir documentary.

In the film, shown on ITV’s Tonight With Trevor McDonald in 2001, Bashir interviewed Sufiah — then aged 16 — who had run away from Oxford University to escape her ‘domineering’ father.


Bashir faces fresh criticism

Martin Bashir, the TV journalist accused of betraying Michael Jackson, is at the centre of a fresh row over allegations that he "blackmailed" the father of a runaway child prodigy to appear in one of his documentaries.

Farooq Yusof, whose daughter Sufiah ran away from Oxford University at the age of 16, last week told a confidential hearing of the broadcasting standards commission that Bashir had promised to give him information about his daughter in return for an interview for ITV’s Tonight With Trevor McDonald.