Politics prevails over process: Secrecy order imposed on murder trial

As mediabeak reported yesterday, a secrecy order was being sought over a murder trial on the grounds of 'national security'. The media and the defendant had contested the order arguing that a right to a fair trial and a free press should prevail over state-infused intervention but Mr Justice Ousley has ruled that parts of the trial are to be held in secret. The difficulty for the media with such gags is that the basis for their order derives from material or information that is itself classified secret and so can not be placed under scrutiny. So where the state persuades a judge that the material is top secret and/or as in this case, would lead to the collapse of the trial were secrecy not to be granted then the judge is the sole arbiter.

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