Judge reserves ruling on media over trial reporting

Headlines about the outcome of Cardinal George Pell’s first trial did not name him (ABC News)

A judge has reserved his decision on whether Australian media companies and journalists have a case to answer over the way Cardinal George Pell’s conviction was reported. Source: News.com.au.

Prosecutors have already withdrawn 13 of 100 contempt charges over the reporting of Cardinal Pell trial’s in 2018 and lawyers have applied to have the remaining cases thrown out.

Fifteen journalists face potential jail terms after Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd QC launched an extraordinary prosecution over the way in which information was published and broadcast about the conviction of a high-profile Australian. That person was later revealed as Cardinal Pell.

A court non-publication order prevented any reporting on his trial in Australia because it could have impacted the jury in the second trial against Cardinal Pell — which was later dropped.

Prosecutors allege the articles and broadcasts by Australian media encouraged people to conduct online searches to find the person’s identity, at a time when overseas media were naming Cardinal Pell.

Will Houghton QC, representing News Corp Australia outlets and journalists, argued yesterday the crown failed to show the articles could have led any would-be juror to search for and find any of 35 overseas articles that revealed Cardinal Pell’s identity.

Judge John Dixon said his ruling on the no case submissions would likely take “a few days” and reserved his decision.


Judge reserves ruling on media over Pell reporting (By Melissa Iaria, News.com.au

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