I realise that matters concerning Rebekah Brookes et al are now sub judice and I will try very hard to remain on the right side of the law.
But I find it quite intolerable that Ms Brookes, through her PA, legal advisor or whoever, has, in addition to making it clear she is innocent of any charges that might be put to her but that she disputes the process by which the charging decision was made and the fact that this can be published / broadcast when any other comment on these proceedings is banned is simply unacceptable.
Why would anyone in the position of being charged fire volleys via the media at the decision making process? The decision to charge anyone follows the ‘full code test’ – an evidential test: is there sufficient reliable evidence to provide a realistic opportunity of a conviction, and a public interest test: is it in the public interest that these matters are tested in court.
Of course, I cannot comment on the former as I am not party to that evidence but on the latter it would be easy to comment BUT we are denied that opportunity. However, the person charged may make any statement they wish and put it out there in the public domain.
If I were in the position of being charged with an offence the only reason I can think of to do any more that insist I am innocent and that I ‘look forward to my day in court’ would be to leave some measure of influence on the forthcoming trial. When the day comes for this to be tried at the Crown Court, in a high profile case such as this the media will, before any evidence is heard (where it can be properly reported) have the lame witterings of the defendant to titivate up their coverage.
I do not want to go to a system where the evidence can be raked over in the press before a trial and I entirely agree with the sub judice rules simply because I do not trust the press to be honest and reliable of their reporting. We do not and have not had trial by media and despite what some people might want we must resist this happening.
No, when matters come to court they should be delivered fresh to the jury without either side having sought to taint proceedings.
Published: May 15, 2012
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