Nine amongst media facing court over suppression orders

Journalists, editors and media organisations will have to face court for alleged contempt over their coverage of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sexual abuse.

Victorian County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd placed a non-publication order on all of the evidence and the verdict in Pell’s trial, which was held last year.

But some media organisations referred to a high profile case but did not mention Pell by name. The order was not lifted until a second trial was abandoned.

The Victorian Department of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd SC, subsequently sent notices advising of possible contempt of court breaches.

Amongst those named are The Age editor Alex Lavelle, Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston, 2GB hosts Ray Hadley & Chris Smith, and Nine’s Deborah Knight, Lara Vella & Christine Ahern.

Some organisations which originally received notices found they do not have to attend on April 15. Victoria’s DPP has called for jail or hefty fines for 36 respondents.

A Nine spokesperson said Nine and its named employees denied the allegations, but would not comment further while the matter was before the courts. News Corp has also indicated it will rigorously defend its position.

The 36 Respondents:

The Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd
Damon Johnston
Charis Chang
News Life Media Pty Ltd
Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd
Sam Weir
The Geelong Advertiser Pty Ltd
Andrew Piva
Nationwide News Pty Ltd
Ben English
Lachlan Hastings
Advertiser Newspapers Pty Ltd
Michael Owen-Brown
Fairfax Media Limited
The Age Company Pty Ltd
Alex Lavelle
Ben Woodhead
Patrick O’Neil
Michael Bachelard
Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd
Lisa Davies
Michael Stutchbury
Patrick Durkin
Danielle Cronin
Franziska Rimrod
Jessica Chambers
Allure Media Pty Ltd
Simon Thomsen
Macquarie Media Limited
Chris Smith
Ray Hadley
Nine Entertainment Co Pty Ltd
Lara Vella
Christine Ahern
Deborah Knight

Source: ABC

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