The Sun Reporter Who Fabricated Migrant Story Apologises on Facebook

Total Croatia News

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Freelance reporter Emile Ghessen ackowledges that the sensational exclusive in The Sun was misleading and his independent findings ‘unfounded’.

After the furore caused by the sensationalist migration exclusive that wasn’t, the man at the centre of the storm apologised via his Facebook page on December 8, 2015.

Emile Ghessen’s account of how he managed to get from Turkey to Paris in six days totally unchecked was published by The Sun at the weekend. In it, he claimed to have got through Croatia by hiding in the train toilet behind the open door, thereby avoiding police detection, before continuing on to Slovenia and then Austria en route to Paris.

In fact, his Croatian adventure was much different to that, as Interior Minister Ratko Ostojic showed, when he published Ghessen’s passport copy as proof that he had been checked on his visit to Croatia – not once but twice – and far from taking the route through Slovenia, he had actually flown from Zagreb to Paris. 

Ghessen’s Facebook post in full:

“Many may have seen the recent article published by the Sun on Saturday 5th December on security in Europe.

“Despite believing security within Europe needs tightening after the recent Paris attacks, my independent findings on the security of particular European countries were unfounded and misleading to some readers. I apologise to all that were offended and I should have been more transparent with my work. My main agenda was to highlight the risks that refugees take to enter Europe. If anything, I hope this empathises the importance of border control to us all.”

Ghessen’s Facebook page is once more back online, after he had deleted it following hateful comments from Croatians, reports The Guardian:

“Ghessen said: “I am not a bad person … I just want to let it go.” Saying that his “main emphasis” was the refugee crisis, he refused to confirm or deny the Sun’s version of events. “My name has gone through the mud. I’m finished.”

“He went on to blame “hate and abuse from Croatians” for his decision to take down several posts on his social media accounts. Ghessen’s YouTube channel and Twitter account have been taken offline since the controversy over the Sun story.”

The Sun quickly took down the story from its website, issued an apology and said it was changing its policy on hiring freelancers.

Minister Ostojic has commented on the matter further, as he described Croatia’s border controls as ‘flawless’.


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