Jordanian Press Instructed not to Publish Court Hearings without Permits
Jordan's state security court on Thursday ordered local newspapers not to publish court hearings or verdicts unless they have "written authority" from the court's chief, Tayel Raggad, reported the Jordan Times.
Newspapers received a memorandum in which reporters were ordered to heed the court's order, said the paper.
Otherwise, Raggad warned that "legal action will be taken against violators in line with the 1998 Press and Publications Law."
That law does not impose restrictions on the coverage of court hearings unless there is an order to this effect by the court in question.
But several newspaper editors said that the court's order contradicted the rules for legal proceedings, which stipulate that court hearings should be open to the public, said the paper.
Furthermore, court verdicts should not be blacked out since they "become public" immediately after they are handed down.
"We noticed recently that certain local papers have published court hearings or verdicts handed down by our court," the chief magistrate said in his memo.
He added that as of "July 12th, local papers will be prohibited from publishing any news about court hearings and verdicts unless they receive written permission from me personally."
Judicial sources said Raggad's measure emanated from an article, which appeared this week in a local paper about a man accused of plotting to carry out a "suicide attack" at an Amman hotel, the Jordan Times added.
Although that coverage was "an ancient case" related to a four-year-old incident, it, nevertheless, provoked a wave of concern amongst people, the source explained, said the paper - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)