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Update 3 | BBC presenter released from police custody [VIDEO]

[WATCH] Hunters assault BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham as he passes through Mizieb with cameras • police ask to speak with Packham at police depot

Daniel Mizzi
26 April 2014, 2:22pm
Last updated on 26 April 2014, 9:15pm
Chris Packham outside the ALE depot
Chris Packham outside the ALE depot
Chris Packham, the BBC presenter and naturalist who has been in Malta documenting the spring hunting season for the past week, has been released by police officers five hours after he was taken in custody at 4:17pm.

Packham was called in because lawyers from the hunters' federation FKNK requested that the police investigate an alleged privacy breach, and defamation.

Packham said the police also had concerns that they had been misrepresented by the BBC presenter in his video documentary.

He was not accused of anything, but Packham said that at one point he was threatened with arrest unless he releases a statement to the police. "I did everything I could to be cooperative with the police"

Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson, Prof. Arnold Cassola, issued a message of solidarity for Packham, and another green activist, David Camilleri, who said he had been assaulted by hunters in Gozo. "We would like to express our solidarity with David Camilleri and Chris Packham who, in different circumstances, have fallen victims to intolerance and violence.

"Everybody should be allowed to express freely their opinion for or against spring hunting, but threats and intolerant behaviour are simply not on. The quicker one learns this, the better"."

Supporters onTwitter have posted messages of encouragement, bringing to attention the plight of migratory birds passing over Malta, and also posting messages threatening to boycott Malta as a tourism destination.

Earlier today, Packham posted the fifth instalment of his video documentary, in which hunters on the public land of Mizieb were close to assaulting him in a bid to stop him from filming.

Yesterday hunters' lobby FKNK filed a judicial protest calling on the Commissioner of Police to safeguard hunters' privacy during the hunting season.

Daniel Mizzi reports from the law courts.