WELL, the phonehacking trial continues to deliver, and this is just the opening.
Worth noting, that it is just that, the prosecution opening. It’s a trial, there’s more to follow. It’s scheduled to go on until Easter, there is a lot more to follow from prosecution and defence.
I am being asked a few questions on Twitter about what it is safe to tweet and blog. Not from reporters at court, many of whom are very experienced journalists and well able to produce reports compliant with reporting restrictions, but from bloggers and tweeters who are commenting on the case.
There have been a number of court orders made in this case, primarily to prevent prejudice to this and other cases. I gather that warnings have been issued over some tweets made in the past couple of days. Caution is advised, the current Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, is keen as mustard when it comes to contempt and has said in the past that he would issue contempt proceedings against an individual blogger or tweeter if the need arose. Fair warning.
When reporting proceedings it is always wise to stick to what has been said in court, in front of the jury, that way you are not revealing to them anything they do not already know.
As a general rule do not make reference to any other proceedings, past or pending, you may know about as that risks prejudicing this trial or any future trials.
Furthermore, do not do anything that vilifies a witness, that might put them off testifying, that could also be a contempt. In the archive of this site you will find a quick guide to avoiding contempt of court which you might find useful.
Anyway, onto the coverage of today.
Here’s The Daily Beast coverage, by @PeterJukes, who has also done a fine job of livetweeting the opening.
And here is the coverage on the HackedOff website.
That’s it early doors, as usual if anything later catches my eye, or is pointed out to me, I’ll add it. Once again, if you’re toiling away behind the paywall of The Sun or The Times and want to send me links for inclusion, please do so.
And if you’re tempted to tweet, in the words of the great Sgt Phil Esterhaus: Let’s be careful out there.
As I’m sure you know, though most of the UK public will not, compared to what happens in the US, this is so draconian. I feel like I’m in a freedom of expression straitjacket! Speaking of which, are Britain’s contempt of court laws in violation of Article 10?