“It’s up to the prosecution to make the case why it should no longer exist.”

The BBC have an interesting update on the reporting restrictions, specifically court orders prohibiting the media from reporting either the identities or addresses of the defendants, in the case of “three men and two women – some of them senior republicans – who are accused of PIRA activity”.  From the BBC report

All five are charged with belonging to a proscribed organisation on dates stretching back to 1999.

Four of them are accused of arranging, addressing or assisting in the management of a PIRA meeting on named dates in 2000.

The two women and one of the men are also alleged to have used threats or menaces to get another woman to co-operate with an inquiry into claims she made against an IRA volunteer.

Earlier this month a judge at Belfast Magistrates’ Court imposed a ban on publishing the names of the five defendants.

The prohibition was put in place to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

However, at a further procedural hearing on Thursday it was revealed that she no longer wants the reporting restrictions.

As the woman sat in the public gallery, a Public Prosecution Service (PPS) lawyer said: “She has asked for that to be lifted. I’m to make that application today.”

The lawyer for one of the accused objected, and the BBC reports that

Judge Bates said he was not prepared to lift the restrictions at this stage.

Adjourning the case for three weeks, he directed the PPS to put reasons for lifting the ban in writing before the next hearing.

The judge added: “It’s up to the prosecution to make the case why it should no longer exist.”

As before, needless to say, no attempts at breaching those court orders will be tolerated here.

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  • lamhdearg2

    The judge added: “It’s up to the prosecution to make the case why it should no longer exist.”

    this is the line that struck me, is it?, should it be?. more legal minds (most) can put me right.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Curiouser and curiouser???

  • beans

    This reporting restriction was taken out under contempt of court proceedings, the defence solicitor requested a ban, the PPS didnt object. If they made a submission to the court this morning on the wishes of the victim, the onus according to the judge is on them to state why it should be lifted. The wishes of the victim would presumably form that application. The judge, should based on this lift the restriction in terms of both public interest and victim affect.

  • Pete Baker

    lamhdearg2

    “should it be?”

    In this case, probably.

    Because, as the BBC report indicates, it was a lawyer for one of the accused who made the earlier request for reporting restrictions.

    But a lawyer for one of [the five accused], John Finucane, stressed that he was given no prior notice of the application.

    Mr Finucane argued that there was more than one alleged victim in the case.

    He also told District Judge Mervyn Bates that when he originally sought anonymity orders it was not done “on a whim”.

    Having originally granted the defence request for anonymity, the prosecution must persuade the court to now overturn that earlier order.

  • lamhdearg2

    “The prohibition was put in place to protect the identity of the alleged victim.”

    “However, at a further procedural hearing on Thursday it was revealed that she no longer wants the reporting restrictions”

    I guess I was reading this wrong.

  • Toastedpuffin

    This kind of secrecy isn’t something I remember before outside sexual abuse cases (which it appears not to be) – is this really as extraordinary as my non-legal mind thinks?

  • Dixie Elliott

    They can’t hide forever. Then again the Peace Process always comes in handy when a cover up is needed.

  • tacapall

    “The prohibition was put in place to protect the identity of the alleged victim.”

    There is more than one victim in this case the other victim obviously wants her identity kept out of the public domain and that is understandable considering the amount of emotional blackmailing the victims were both put under to accept the IRA version of judicial process. A small price to pay in the short term for the victims in their long fight for justice as its only the wider public who dont know who these people are and the cowardly flippant approach they took to these victims claims of rape but like Dixie says they cant hide forever maybe if the Andersonstown News had a backbone of decency and Impartiality the truth would be known to everyone, but thats very unlikely.

  • Neil

    like Dixie says they cant hide forever

    Reckon that’s 100%, place is too small to hide interesting stuff for long, someone knows, someone will spill the beans eventually.

    maybe if the Andersonstown News had a backbone of decency and Impartiality the truth would be known to everyone, but thats very unlikely.

    You wouldn’t be suggesting that the editor of a paper should intentionally disregard their legal obligations not to name victims in cases where a judge has ruled their identities be kept secret?

    Even pre-Levenson the NOTW wouldn’t have done that. Think the list of people who had super injunctions, freely available on the web. The papers still wouldn’t publish even though the details were in the public domain.

    As for impartiality, welcome to NI. What paper is impartial? Genuinely, I can think of half a dozen titles off the top of my head and not one of them is free from a Republican or Unionist bent.

  • tacapall

    “You wouldn’t be suggesting that the editor of a paper should intentionally disregard their legal obligations not to name victims in cases where a judge has ruled their identities be kept secret”

    Not at all Neil but there wasn’t always an injunction and everyone knew long ago the crack about what happened to the victims and what happened to the rapist.however I cant remember that paper even giving it a mention.

  • tacapall

    Incidentally Pete I heard on the grapevine that a civil case is being prepared against those RUC special branch officers who give free reign to the Mount Vernon UVF to murder at will – Should it be right that those officers identities be kept out of the public domain in the interests of the victims.

  • son of sam

    Neil
    Re impartiality of the local press;Could I put forward the”Impartial Reporter” from Fermanagh as an example of a paper which gives proper recognition to all signs of the community?Then again you have papers such as the Derry Journal which for some inexplicable reason sees it as its mission to promote all things SinnFein and in particular Martina Anderson .

  • beans

    “There is more than one victim in this case”, Tacapall, this is technically incorrect, there is another linked case with more than one victim, to deal with the issues you allude to, but one victim in this case. Therefore, the lifting of reporting restriction in respect of the judges decision should rest on two things, wishes of victim and public interest, as the case had already been in the media the public interest argument is valid, suppose it depends on which way the PPS argue it.

  • tacapall

    Totally correct Beans although regarding this case all victims were treated the same by these people. However if anyone wishes to know the identities a simple trawl of the internet will produce results of not only the case but all those involved.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The victim in this case is a very courageous person.

    The small person took on the big bullies and has them on the run. That is something we can all identify with.