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Wall Street Journal wins challenge of Brooks trial media restrictions

Wall Street Journal wins challenge of Brooks trial media restrictions
Former News International Chief-Executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks leave the Old Bailey Criminal Court after hearing evidence in the phone hacking trial in London, November 07 2013. Mrs.Brooks is facing five charges including perverting the course of justice. The trial is expected to run for six months. UPI/Hugo Philpott | License Photo

LONDON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Wall Street Journal will be allowed to report on the phone hacking trial of British journalist Rebekah Brooks without restrictions, a British judge ruled.

The New York newspaper challenged a Crown Prosecution Service request that would have required foreign press to sign a written agreement to comply with British reporting restrictions in exchange for access to prosecution material, including CCTV footage, maps, financial statements, transcripts of police interviews with witnesses and defendants, photos of property seized and witness statements shown to the jury, the Guardian reported Friday.

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"I do not consider that the signing of the agreement should be a pre-condition of that supply [of documents]," Justice Saunders said in his ruling.

Saunders noted that the the CPS request did not apply to British media reporting on the case.

"Wall Street Journal submits that the requirement to enter into this agreement imposed by the CPS on the foreign media is illogical as it does not apply to U.K.-based media who publish outside the jurisdiction," Saunders said.

"They also submit that it amounts to an unnecessary restriction on the freedom of the press," Saunders said.

Brooks was a former editor of the British national newspaper News of the World. She is on trial for allegedly trying to conceal evidence of phone-hacking at the newspaper.

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