March 20, 2008
Judge: no secrecy for royal blackmail trial
CPS application to hear evidence in secret dismissed
A judge yesterday dismissed an application by the Crown Prosecution Service to have parts of the royal blackmail trial heard in secret.
The trial, in which two men are accused of blackmailing a member of the Royal Family, is due to start at the Old Bailey on April 14th.
The CPS argued at a hearing yesterday that evidence which would reveal the identity of the victim should be heard in secret.
Ruling that no part of the trial should be heard in secret, Cooke J ordered that the public should be excluded when this evidence is heard, but four members of the media could attend.
The judge said that media organisations had to agree amongst themselves which journalists should take the four places in court during these parts of the trial.
5RB‘s Adam Wolanski (instructed by Gill Phillips of Times Newspapers) represented Times Newspapers, Trinity Mirror, Independent News Media, Guardian News & Media, the BBC, the Telegraph Group, the Press Association, Reuters and Associated Newspapers at the hearing.