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Former UK officials plead not guilty to leaking Aljazeera bombing memo

[JURIST] David Keogh, a former British civil servant in the Cabinet Office, and Leo O'Connor, a former legislative assistant to former Labour MP Tony Clarke, have pleaded not guilty to breaching Section 3 of Britain's Official Secrets Act [text] by allegedly disclosing the contents of a memo in which plans to bomb satellite news channel Aljazeera [media website] were said to have been discussed. The two were initially charged [JURIST report] in November 2005 after the information was allegedly passed to a news organization.

The revelation led to a Daily Mirror report [text] that President Bush was persuaded not to bomb 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 called the claims "outlandish" while a spokesman for Blair said that the memo did not discuss the bombing of any media outlets. The trial for the two men is scheduled for October 2006. AFP has more.

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