Category: Archive

North journalist awaits decision

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST — A judgment is due this week on an application by the RUC to force Belfast journalist Ed Moloney to hand over his notes from interviews with self-confessed RUC double agent and UDA quartermaster, William Stobie.

Moloney is refusing to cooperate with RUC demands, saying it would turn journalists into police informers if they broke confidences with their contacts.

A decision in the case had been expected late last weekend but was postponed. A judge is now due to give his ruling at Belfast County Court sitting in Antrim Town this week. If he instructs Moloney to hand over his notes, there is certain to be a refusal.

If Moloney refuses, he will be in contempt of court and liable to a fine, which he says he will not pay, opening up the prospect of an indefinite jail term.

The veteran journalist, speaking from his Belfast home on Monday, said he greatly appreciated the support he was getting from colleagues in the U.S.

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A picket was mounted outside the court by the National Union of Journalists, 150 of whose members have said in writing that they would take the same stand if faced with the same demand.

Last week a senior London detective, investigating the murder of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane, revealed in the witness box that Stobie had confessed to his role in supplying the weapons used to kill Finucane nine years ago.

Describing this as a "stunning revelation," Moloney said it confirmed his view that the police were aware for many years of Stobie’s role in the murder and had chosen, for their own reasons, not to act.

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