Dailies in naming charge

The publishers of two Scottish daily newspapers are being prosecuted after naming a 15-year-old Scottish schoolboy arrested on a urder charge.

Scotsman Publications, which publishes the Edinburgh Evening ews, and Aberdeen Journals, which publishes the Press and Journal, have been charged with contravening Section 47 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

Section 47 of the Act prohibits identifying any person aged under 16 concerned in proceedings, and that prohibition applies to a person against whom the proceedings are taken.

The court actions against both publishers were called respectively at Edinburgh and Aberdeen Sheriff Courts earlier this month but continued into November without plea. hen both cases were called initially, reporting restrictions were imposed under Section 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

But the restrictions were subsequently removed after legal arguments from counsel for BBC Scotland to lift them were upheld by sheriffs at special hearings in both courts.

Counsel for the youth, now aged 16, had opposed the lifting of reporting restrictions.

The youth has denied killing Dalkeith schoolgirl Jodi Jones and will appear on trial for murder at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, 1 November.

Jones, 14, went missing in June, 2003 after leaving her home to meet her boyfriend.

Five hours later her mutilated body was found dumped less than a mile from her home, prompting a huge murder hunt.

By Hamish Mackay

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