Letter: Press must take care after trials

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The Independent Online
Sir: Musa Mazzawi (letter, 18 February) is arguably wrong in assuming that because the two trials of the men acquitted of murdering Stephen Lawrence are over, the Daily Mail may now, without hindrance, say what it likes.

The courts have held (see Archbold on Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice 1997, paragraphs 20-36) that the definition of a common law contempt of court, provided by Attorney-General v Times Newspapers Ltd (1974), AC 273 HL, is wide enough to embrace "improper interference with persons who have been engaged in litigation after it is concluded". The assertion that men found not guilty of murder are in fact guilty, arguably amounts to such "improper interference".


Winkleigh, Devon