25 January 2012
By Andrew Pugh
Use of Twitter has been banned from the tax evasion trial of Harry Redknapp after a journalist named a juror on the social networking site.
The same reporter, who is understood to be a staff journalist with Guardian News and Media, is believed to have also reported the evidence of a witness given under oath when the jury was not present.
Both breaches have resulted in the judge banning the use of Twitter and ‘live text’ at the trial and referring the case to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.
The Judicial Office has urged reporters to “speak to their newspaper or broadcaster’s legal departments if they are in any doubt about what can and cannot be reported”.
The judge has now issued a new note to press and public: “Neither the press nor the public may ‘tweet’ whilst they are in court. There is a Contempt of Court Order still in place. If anyone is unsure of the extent to which there are restrictions on reporting, this can be raised with the judge by way of a note sent to the clerk of the court.”
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(posted by PL)