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Dublin: 15°C Friday 6 August 2021

A British paper reacted in a novel way to not being allowed report 'sensitive' parts of a terror trial...

…by printing the relevant information anyway and then blanking it out CIA style.

Image: Shutterstock/Imilian

THE TIMES OF London took an interesting approach to its reporting of a terror trial this morning.

27-year-old Erol Incedal was sentenced to three and a half years in prison yesterday after being convicted of possessing a document likely to be of use to terrorists.

Of more note were the charges he was not convicted of – specifically plotting terrorist attacks in Britain.

Of still more note is the fact that large portions of the trial were conducted behind closed doors in the interests of ‘national security’, including almost the entirety of the defence evidence.

‘Accredited journalists’ were allowed view certain parts of the behind-closed-doors segment of the trial, but were banned from reporting on them, including the main allegation that had been made against Incedal.

In defiance of this ‘major departure from the principle of open justice’ crime journalist Sean O’Neill chose to include the sensitive parts of the trial in his report but then blanked (or redacted) them out.

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Examples include:

  • ‘A law student jailed yesterday for possession of a bombmaking manual was a **** *** *********, the Old bailey has heard.’
  • ‘… they were swayed by powerful evidence that Incedal had been a ********** *** ********** who had received ********* ** ******  to *** ** ******** *********** in Britain and ******.’
  • ‘The central allegation against Incedal – that he plotted online to ********* *** *** ******** – was not heard in open court.


The full report can be read here (paywalled).

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