From The Irish Times:
As seen at the time of the Brian Murphy murder trial, the courts are taking a more serious line with newspapers printing information about on-going cases. I believe this to be the first time that representatives of a publication have been called before a tribunal (though I'm open to correction). Should journalists have more freedom, is this a further case in favour of a press council?
- Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy and public affairs correspondent Colm Keena have been summonsed to appear before a public sitting of the Mahon (planning) tribunal on Friday to answer questions on this newspaper's report that disclosed details of the investigation into payments to Bertie Ahern while he was minister for finance.
Tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon has ordered that copies of all documents quoted in the article, which appeared in last Thursday's Irish Times, be handed over at the sitting.
He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.
Judge Mahon also ordered that the witnesses answer questions about correspondence between the tribunal and this newspaper since the report was published.
The tribunal wrote to The Irish Times on Thursday maintaining that the article it published was in breach of an interlocutory injunction of the Supreme Court, and sought an explanation. An explanation was provided.