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Friday, April 25, 2014

The case of Rolf Harris

The Sydney Morning Herald today published a page of unverified, untested accusations against Rolf Harris, who is shortly to be tried in London for various sexual offences against young girls. This raises several issues. The SMH prints, in red type, a note pointing out that these accusations could not at the moment be published in England for fear of influencing possible juriy members, and must not be reprinted or tweeted.. But can it be doubted that in some way the article will make its way to the UK? Apart from which, what justifies the publication of specific accusations against someone without their being tested in a court of law? The Herald, a paper I have hitherto found ireproachable, seems to have steopped right back into the murky area where the words 'gutter' and 'press' are specifically linked.

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