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British officials to stand trial over Aljazeera bombing memo leak

[JURIST] Two British officials charged with leaking a UK government memo in which President Bush reportedly suggested bombing the offices of Arab satellite news channel Aljazeera [media website] will stand trial by the end of the month, the judge in the trial ordered at a hearing Tuesday. Judge Timothy Workman of the UK Central Criminal Court [official website] ordered a preliminary hearing in the case for January 24. David Keogh, a civil servant, has been charged under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act [text] for allegedly disclosing the memo. Leo O'Connor, a former legislative assistant to former Labour MP Tony Clarke, was charged with receiving the memo. O'Connor is expected to plead not guilty, while Keogh has not indicated his intentions. Both have been released on bail following their arraignment. The revelation led to a Daily Mirror report [text] that President Bush was talked out of bombing Aljazeera's offices by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] in April 2004, although it was unclear whether President Bush's suggestion was serious. The White House has denied the report, while No. 10 Downing Street refused to comment. AP has more.

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