CAJ disturbed by court ruling



    OTTAWA, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is deeply
troubled by a federal court ruling released today that could compel two
Montreal journalists to reveal their sources.
    A judge ruled that two journalists from La Presse must testify about
their reporting into the case of Adil Charkaoui, a Montrealer arrested in May,
2003 under a security certificate because Ottawa believes he has links to
terrorists.
    The article published in June, 2007, was based on a top-secret document
leaked to Gilles Toupin and Joel-Denis Bellavance of La Presse.
    Federal Court Judge Simon Noel said in his 71-page decision that the
fundamental rights of Mr. Charkaoui outweigh the journalistic privilege of the
protection of sources.
    "Reporters must be allowed to protect their sources. If they can't,
critical pieces of information might never come to light," said CAJ President
Mary Agnes Welch. "We understand Mr. Charkaoui's wish to know who leaked
sensitive information about his case. But we're very fearful that the judge's
ruling could have a chilling effect on anyone with information that's in the
public interest."

    The CAJ is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists
from all media, with about 1,500 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary
roles are to provide high quality professional development for its members and
public-interest advocacy.





For further information:

For further information: For interviews, call: Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ
President, Ph. (204) 943-6575, Cell. (204) 470-8862,
maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca


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