US magazine to hand over records | News | Al Jazeera

US magazine to hand over records

Time magazine is to hand over subpoenaed records to a grand jury in a move that could spare one of its reporters jail over his refusal to reveal confidential sources.

    Matthew Cooper may be jailed for keeping his source secret

    Time Editor in Chief Norman Pearlstine said in a statement on Thursday that it would reluctantly comply with the court "in accordance with its duties under the law".

    However, he added that the US Supreme Court had limited press freedom "in ways that will have a chilling effect on our work and that may damage the free flow of information that is so necessary in a democratic society".
       
    A judge has given Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the New York Times one more week before deciding their sentence for refusing to reveal confidential sources to a grand jury.

    The court is investigating the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to the news media.
       
    Although Miller and Cooper talked to sources about the Plame story, neither had anything to do with leaking her identity.
     
    Test case

    The two cases involved an important test of the rights of reporters to refuse to identify their confidential sources as part of a federal criminal investigation.
       
    The US Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that the two journalists should be jailed for refusing to reveal their sources.
       
    An appeals court had ruled they should be held in contempt and jailed for refusing to testify in the investigation of who leaked the name of Plame in 2003 to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who revealed her identity in a column.
       
    Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, a diplomat in the Clinton administration, accused the White House of being responsible for the leak.

    He said officials did so, because Wilson had publicly disputed a pre-war claim by President George Bush about Iraq's attempts to buy nuclear weapons parts.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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