A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

UK judge bans media from Aljazeera bombing memo leak trial

[JURIST] A British judge has ruled that the parts of the upcoming UK state secrets trial relating to an alleged memo detailing a conversation between US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] describing plans to bomb satellite news channel Aljazeera [media website] cannot be disclosed to the public. 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, pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to breaching Section 3 of Britain's Official Secrets Act [text], when they were initially charged [JURIST report] in November 2005 for allegedly leaking the contents of the memo to the media. The memo, which reportedly was a transcription of a conversation between the two leaders in the spring of 2004, was the centerpiece of a news story [text] in the UK's Daily Mirror.

Several newspapers announced plans to appeal Tuesday's ruling, which bans media organizations from attending parts of the trial. Former defense minister Peter Kilfoyle [Wikipedia profile] on Tuesday called on the UK government to hold a public trial [Daily Mirror report] for Keogh and O'Connor, saying that full disclosure of the memo is "in the national interest". From the UK, the Guardian has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.