Contempt charges dropped against three editors in Pell conviction reporting trial

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Charges against three News Corp online editors were dropped on day four of a trial on allegations that media firms broke an Australia-wide court suppression order on reporting ex-Vatican treasurer George Pell's child sex abuse conviction. The Crown prosecutor surprised the court by dropping charges against the digital editors of the Australian publications, the Geelong Advertiser online, the Weekly Times and The Advertiser on Thursday. Prosecutor Lisa De Ferrari gave no reason for the sudden move, more than 18 months after the charges were first laid.

Reuters November 12, 2020 07:10:08 IST
Contempt charges dropped against three editors in Pell conviction reporting trial

Contempt charges dropped against three editors in Pell conviction reporting trial

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Charges against three News Corp online editors were dropped on day four of a trial on allegations that media firms broke an Australia-wide court suppression order on reporting ex-Vatican treasurer George Pell's child sex abuse conviction.

The Crown prosecutor surprised the court by dropping charges against the digital editors of the Australian publications, the Geelong Advertiser online, the Weekly Times and The Advertiser on Thursday.

Prosecutor Lisa De Ferrari gave no reason for the sudden move, more than 18 months after the charges were first laid.

Testimony from News Corp counsel Marlia Saunders on Wednesday showed that online editors had no control over stories that were automatically uploaded to their online services by a centralised News Corp publishing system.

Charges remain against 10 journalists and several media companies. The companies have denied the charges and some of the defendants have refused to admit they knew about the gag order.

The trial is scheduled to go on until at least Nov. 20.

Pell was convicted in December 2018 of abusing two choirboys but reporting on the trial and conviction was gagged by the County Court of Victoria to ensure the cardinal received a fair trial on further charges he was due to face.

Overseas publications, including the Washington Post, reported the news shortly after the verdict, but not all of them blocked access to Australia.

After that, some Australian media published articles saying they were unable to report major news regarding an unnamed high profile figure involved in a serious crime, but some flagged that the news was accessible online.

Pell was acquitted by Australia's High Court in April after serving more than a year in jail.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Michael Perry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict
World

The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia's military is fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region, threatening stability around the Horn of Africa. Here are some facts on the forces: THE NATIONAL MILITARY: THE ENDF The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has around 140,000 active personnel, the vast majority of them in the army, according to the Janes security data group. Its troops have been tested by Islamist militants in Somalia and rebel groups in Ethiopia's border regions, as well as a two-year border war with Eritrea followed by an 18-year standoff that only ended in 2018.

Turkey to impose measures to combat coronavirus, Erdogan says
World

Turkey to impose measures to combat coronavirus, Erdogan says

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the government will impose tighter measures to fight with the coronavirus and impose partial lockdowns on weekends across the country. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Erdogan also said all schools will remain closed until the year-end and all restaurants will only work by delivery

Brazil to track illegal Amazon wood exports using isotopes, president says
World

Brazil to track illegal Amazon wood exports using isotopes, president says

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday his government in coming days will name countries that are importing wood illegally extracted from the Amazon. Addressing a BRICS summit of big developing economies, Bolsonaro said Brazilian police had developed a way of tracking wood exported from the Amazon using isotopes.