Police in Northern Ireland will today go to the high court in a bid to force a journalist to surrender information about the Real IRA.
Sunday Tribune northern editor Suzanne Breen has been asked to give up phones, computers, discs, notes and other material linked to two articles on the dissident republican paramilitary organisation.
Officers gave her seven days to comply after visiting her Belfast home last week, but the reporter has refused to co-operate, insisting she has to protect her sources.
Police today begin proceedings seeking a high court order compelling the journalist to hand over the materials.
Breen said: “It is not the job of journalists to be detectives. We will be upholding the journalistic code of ethics, which includes the protecting of sources.”
Police want details about the Real IRA’s claim of responsibility for the murder of two soldiers at Massereene army barracks, Antrim, in March and an interview with a senior Real IRA representative in which the group admitted killing Provisional IRA informer Denis Donaldson and threatened to murder more soldiers and police.
The National Union of Journalists has come out in support of Breen.
But at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board yesterday, Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said the public expected police to pursue all lines of inquiry.