We wrote in November when UK attorney general Dominic Grieve began “proceedings for possible contempt of court” charges against the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror over reporting on Levi Bellfield, the man convicted in Milly Dowler’s 2002 kidnapping and murder.
Grieve also said he was looking into possible contempt charges against Sky News alleging the network broke an injunction with its reports on a “kidnapped British couple … in the process of being released by Somali pirates.”
But, Grieve ended his “contempt of court proceedings against Sky News,” the Guardian reported. A spokesperson for Grieve’s office, Russell Hayes, told iMediaEthics by e-mail that his office “notified the parties of intention not to proceed on Monday,” Jan. 16.
Hayes also sent us this statement from Grieve’s office on the matter:
“The Attorney General brought proceedings in his role as guardian of the public interest. The Attorney General has reconsidered the public interest test in the light of additional relevant information and has concluded that proceedings are no longer required. “
The Guardian noted that Sky News defended itself against the charges.
We wrote in December about Grieve’s speech on his recent charges and investigations into media outlets for contempt. In the speech, Grieve explained that “it is as Guardian of the Public Interest that I act in cases of contempt – it is this role which requires me to consider carefully the competing interests of press freedom and the fair administration of Justice.”
We have written to Grieve’s office for more information and will update with any response.