20th November 2015

GQ Fined For Hacking Trial Article

GQ magazine is facing a fine after publishing a prejudicial article during the hacking trial.


Conde Nast's GQ magazine is being fined after committing contempt of court for an article published during the hacking trial.

The article in question was published by GQ magazine in March 2014, during the hacking trial.

GQ editor Dylan Jones states that he was advised the article would not breach the Contempt of Court Act.

However, the Treasury Solicitor wrote to Jones, and warned him that the issue should be withdrawn from sale.

Following this, 61% of 38, 000 newsstand copies were withdrawn and destroyed.

Lord Chief Justice stated: “I am left in little doubt that the effect of the article read as a whole was very seriously prejudicial.

“I cannot accept the submission advanced by Condé Nast that the article was riddled with ambiguity and lacking in identifiable assertions or that it was difficult to search for its meaning.

“On the contrary, it plainly implied that Mr Rupert Murdoch was a participant in the phone hacking, that the defendants must have been aware of the phone hacking, that the defence was being funded by him and conducted on the defendants' instructions so as to protect his interests, but in a way that might also secure their acquittal.

“It was not mere comment or observation, but an article that made the clear implications about Mr Rupert Murdoch, Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson I have set out.

“There would in my view therefore have been a seriously arguable ground of appeal that the jury should have been discharged.”

 
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