Why Royal blackmail victim should be named
October 31, 2007

By Phil Wardman, Head of Newsgathering

The Royal at the centre of an alleged £50,000 blackmail case has been named on US and Australian television and on hundreds of international websites - but still UK law bans the British media from publishing his or her name.

We are not alllowed to give any details which may lead to the identification of the royal.

Court hearings involving the two men charged will be held in secret without press or public being present.

The law allows for blackmail victims to be protected and in the majority of cases there wouldn't be an argument against this policy.

But anyone with an ounce of knowledge of how to use an internet search engine would be able to find the royal's identity within seconds. More than a hundred and fifty sites name the alleged victim, scores more invite people to guess.

This makes a mockery of the secrecy ruling and prevents the British media from reporting the story responsibly and accurately.

It leads to dangerous public speculation on which royal is involved.

Aides have already had to intervene to rule out Princes William and Harry and say the person in question is a 'minor' royal who does not carry out official engagements. So the hare is set running again.

In this digital age, rightly or wrongly, it is almost impossible to suppress global information.

In this case it would better if the judge and the alleged victim allowed the secrecy ruling to be lifted to maintain the credibility of the law and allow the British media to put an end to the damaging speculation.

Written by Sky News, October 31, 2007


These "upper-crust" types still run the country and the law, as usual, does not apply to them.

I am sure the "minor Royal" is extremely upset at being described as a "minor Royal".
Frankly, this is 2007 and the world is ready for such information without condemning the victim of these alleged blackmailers.

Now why am I not surprised by the lunacy of many a judgemental appearance in this day and age surrounding information technology as well as accurate reporting ? Whilst the very judges expect many an individual to promote and respect judicial values, it is very heartbreaking to note the drakonian measures adopted for the sake of secrecy,whilst further in the absence of the knowledge that the last laugh is on them. Whomsoever it may be, I was under th inderstanding that the law of the land was applicable to all, yet how reporting restrictions are overlooked by judges when it is just joe public in the "Gap Band-Oops Upside Your Head"

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