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Video Journalist Faces Contempt Charge Over G8 Protest

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 10 months ago

Video Journalist Faces Contempt Charge Over G8 Protest


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KCBS) -- A judge plans to hold a hearing this morning on whether a San Francisco video-journalist should be found in contempt for refusing to give a federal grand jury his tape and notes of a demonstration in the city's Mission District last year.


That protest against the 2005 G-8 meeting in Scotland led to a clash between police and a group of anarchists. During the incident, a police officer was injured and authorities believe someone allegedly tried to vandalize a patrol car.


Federal prosecutors want the journalist, Josh Wolf, to testify before the grand jury and hand over the tape of the protest. They have said the vandalism could be a federal crime because the city's police department receives federal funds. Federal law, unlike state law, contains no explicit protections for reporters who refuse to reveal confidential sources or unpublished material.


Several civil liberties and journalism advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Without Borders, and the National Lawyers Guild are criticizing the U.S. Attorney's office for improperly using the grand jury. They believe Wolf's case is part of growing trend of federal prosecutors forcing journalists to disclose confidential sources and unpublished material.


Following today's hearing, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to vote this afternoon on a resolution condemning the actions of the federal government in the case.



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