Group fears UK headlines may prejudice bombing trials

Group fears UK headlines may prejudice bombing trials

[JURIST] London-based human rights group Liberty [advocacy website] has urged English Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [PDF letter] to warn British newspapers and media reporting on the London bombings not to prejudice upcoming trials of the bombers by creating an assumption of guilt. Incendiary headlines such as "Got the bastards" have caused some concern over the ability of Britain to host fair trials, especially in a country where strict laws govern contempt of court. Once someone is formally charged in the UK, there is an obligation to stop reporting potentially prejudicial items about a suspect, though many media experts argue that the press has just as strong an obligation to provide detailed information to the public about such events prior to the beginning of court proceedings. AFP has more.