Court hears of death threat to crime reporter

By Des Cryan in Dublin

Sunday World journalist Paul Williams was told by a man threatening
to kill him that he would soon “be meeting Veronica Guerin”, the
murdered Sunday Independent crime reporter, a jury at Dublin Circuit
Criminal Court has heard.

James Walsh, 45, from Dublin, is charged with threatening to kill
Williams, the Sunday World’s crime editor, in June 2003, and with
threatening to cause him serious harm later the same day.

The
jury heard that Williams had called at Walsh’s home to interview him,
leaving his name and contact number. In the first of two phone calls in
response Williams was told: “If you write anything about me in the
Sunday World you will be meeting Veronica Guerin and I mean that.”
Williams said he recognised the voice as that of Walsh.

The court was told the case concerned an attack on the freedom of the press to report fairly and accurately.

Following
legal argument the judge discharged the jury and a date has now to be
fixed for a new trial of Walsh before a different jury.

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