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Murder Trials (Witnesses)

Volume 892: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek powers to prevent the names, addresses, and photographs of witnesses in murder trials being published in newspapers, or divulged in television or radio programmes.

My hon. Friend will be aware that in the course of a murder or other trial the court may, if there is particular anxiety for the safety of a witness, rule that certain details of his identity should not be divulged by the Press. I am conscious, however, that from time to time there are criticisms of the existing safeguards for witnesses in certain cases of serious crime. Together with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and other Ministers, I am considering if there is any action which can appropriately be taken.