[JURIST] A British judge has ruled that the parts of the upcoming UK state secrets trial relating to an alleged memo detailing a conversation between US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] describing plans to bomb satellite news channel Aljazeera [media website] cannot be disclosed to the public. David Keogh, a former British civil servant in the Cabinet Office, and Leo O'Connor, a former legislative assistant to former Labour MP Tony Clarke, pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to breaching Section 3 of Britain's Official Secrets Act [text], when they were initially charged [JURIST report] in November 2005 for allegedly leaking the contents of the memo to the media. The memo, which reportedly was a transcription of a conversation between the two leaders in the spring of 2004, was the centerpiece of a news story [text] in the UK's Daily Mirror.
Several newspapers announced plans to appeal Tuesday's ruling, which bans media organizations from attending parts of the trial. Former defense minister Peter Kilfoyle [Wikipedia profile] on Tuesday called on the UK government to hold a public trial [Daily Mirror report] for Keogh and O'Connor, saying that full disclosure of the memo is "in the national interest". From the UK, the Guardian has more.