Sports journalist on The Guardian faces contempt charge over Harry Redknapp trial
The Scottish Mail on Sunday claims that a sports journalist on The Guardian could be facing a contempt of court charge arising out of coverage of the trial of Tottenham Hotspur’s manager, Harry Redknapp, on tax evasion charges.
The paper claims that Jamie Jackson tweeted the name of a juror and also tweeted about a legal argument as a witness was giving evidence under oath when the jury was not present.
The Mail on Sunday reported: “The law of contempt forbids the publication of information not heard by the jury that prejudices the defendant’s rights to a fair trial.
“Both alleged contempts of court resulted in the trial judge, Anthony Leonard QC, banning the use of Twitter and ’live text’ at the trial and referring the case to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC.
“A spokesman for Mr Grieve confirmed the case was being considered for prosecution.”
According to the Mail on Sunday’s report, pointing out that contempt of court carries a possible two-year jail sentence, the incident happened on Monday shortly after the jury was sworn in.
“Mr Jackson tweeted the name of the juror after the jury had been selected. By law, jurors’ identities are protected. The juror had to be discharged and a new juror sworn in.”
The newspaper added that The Guardian had “declined to discuss the contempt allegation”.