Judgement reserved as media challenge court order on ID of child porn accused

The High Court has reserved judgment in a challenge by four media to a District Judge's order that the name of a man before the courts on a charge of possession of child pornography images not be published.

The High Court has reserved judgment in a challenge by four media to a District Judge's order that the name of a man before the courts on a charge of possession of child pornography images not be published.

Independent Newspapers, Examiner Publications , RTE and the Irish Times have applied to have the order of July 2003 made by District Judge David Anderson set aside.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he would reserve judgement and hoped to be in a position to give it on February 15.

The judge sitting at the District Court in Portlaoise ruled that a man accused of possession of child pornography could not be named and no information tending to identify him could be published by the media.

The man was charged with possessing child pornography images contrary to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

Opening the case, Eoin McCullough SC said the case for the media organisation was that justice should be administered in public. The case he said arose out of proceedings brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions in July 2003 against a man in the District Court.

The man was remanded on continuing bail on a charge of possession of child pornography images.

Counsel said, along with the adjournment of the case, two other orders with were made by District Judge Anderson who ruled that there be no publication of the identity of the man before the courts in the media and no information tending to identify him was to be published.

It is claimed the District Judge did not have jurisdiction to make the orders and erred when he held in October 2003 that his ruling in the District Court was final and could not be varied in the circumstances.

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