Friday, February 08, 2008

More on the Official Secrets Act

Here is an explanation of why the Al Jazeera case was a success for the prosecution.

The only real difference was that in the case of Keogh and O'Connor the officials who wanted the prosecution were prepared to testify, as was the prime minister's foreign policy advisor. With Pasquill, the embarrassment and vindictive nature of the trial was simply too much.

Also the Foreign Secretary, then Margaret Beckett, was prepared to sign statements about national security.

septicisle also points out that

It's also not the only trial upcoming under the OSA: Thomas Lund-Lack, who leaked a Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre report to the Sunday Times is also facing similar charges. The line between where investigative journalism and the public interest ends and justified government secrecy lies is an incredibly fine one, and it's not going to be decided through cases like this but through a review of the OSA itself, something that is long overdue.