SUZANNE BREEN, UDIENZA A PORTE CHIUSE
Suzanne Breen vorrebbe portare i nomi delle proprie fonti del Real IRA nella tomba. Così ha dichiarato la giornalista del Sunday Tribune, dopo che l’avvocato Tony McGlennan, che agisce per conto di Hugh Orde (Chief Constable del PSNI) ha ottenuto dalla corte il via libero ad un udienza in sessione privata.
La giornalista, pur sottolineando di non aver nulla da nascondere, ha affermato che la rivelazione delle fonti metterebbe a serio rischio la sua vita oltre a ledere l’etica giornalistica.
Il giudice Burgess, il cui operato è stato definito equo ed imparziale, ha riconosciuto che vi sono due conflitti di interesse: la divulgazione di informazioni che potrebbe ostacolare le indagini, e il diritto del pubblico di sapere. Il giudice ha poi deciso che l’audizione della prove da parte della polizia debba avvenire in sessione privata e ha aggiornato l’udienza a martedì mattina.
Journalist defiant as PSNI wins the right to give its evidence in case privately (Belfast Telegraph)
Journalist Suzanne Breen has hit back at police as they launched a court bid to force her to reveal her Real IRA sources.
The Sunday Tribune northern editor reaffirmed she would take her sources “to the grave” after barrister Tony McGlennan — acting on behalf of the Chief Constable — successfully applied to give evidence in a closed court session.
After the Press and public were excluded from the court, she said: “I am very disappointed that the PSNI made the application to be heard in secret. I have nothing to hide, and I have to say that Judge Burgess acted very fairly and impartially.
“My own team put the argument for an open hearing very succinctly and Judge Burgess listened intently. My argument is not with him. Rather, it is with the police for wanting to give their evidence in a closed court.”
The judge set a further review hearing for next Tuesday and Ms Breen said that would be an open hearing “where my team will leave no doubt whatever that I will never reveal my sources.”
She added: “It is a fundamental principle of journalism that we do not reveal our sources.
“The protection of Press sources is a fundamental aspect of democracy. The Real IRA is a dangerous organisation and to reveal my source would place my life at risk.
“Nobody should underestimate my determination and that of the Sunday Tribune and the National Union of Journalists to adhere to this principle.
“We will not capitulate.”
Police made an application to the court in Belfast that the proceedings should be held in private.
Ms Breen’s barrister Paul Girvan QC gave a number of precedents where similar cases had been heard in public. He added that his client had gone very public on the issue and that much of the case was already firmly in the public domain.
The barrister felt that Ms Breen’s human rights were being violated, adding that she worked from home, had a partner and a young child, and that any compliance to the police letter would constitute a clear threat to her life.
Judge Burgess recognised there were two conflicts of interest — that the disclosure of information might impede the investigations, balanced against the public’s right to know.
He then decided that the police evidence should be heard in closed session and set the review hearing for Tuesday morning.