UK court finds two guilty in Al Jazeera 'bombing' memo leak

[JURIST] A UK court found two men guilty of violating Section 3 of Britain's Official Secrets Act [text] by leaking a secret memo in which President Bush was said to have told UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] in April 2004 of a plan to bomb Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera [media website] at the height of the US campaign against Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah. The jury found civil servant David Keogh guilty of making a damaging disclosure of a government document without authority and found MP researcher Leo O'Connor guilty of damaging disclosure of a document passed illegally.

The trial of the two men began in April [JURIST report], with both Keogh and O'Connor denying the charges against them [JURIST report]. Keogh is said to have given the memo to O'Connor at some point between April 15, 2004 and May 29, 2004. Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper reported [text] in November 2005 that Blair resisted Bush's proposal to bomb Al Jazeera, adding that sources disagreed as to the seriousness of Bush's suggestion. The White House has called the report "outlandish and inconceivable," while Blair has said he had no information about any proposed US action against Al Jazeera. The Guardian has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.