Lawyers take journalist to court10 November 2012
Lawyers for the principal of a Catholic university college are to apply for a court order in an attempt to force the editor of the website Independent Catholic News to reveal the identity of an anonymous source.
Josephine Siedlecka, who was named Catholic Woman of the Year and runs the not-for-profit website, published an anonymously written letter on 3 October that lawyers for the principal of St Mary's University College, Twickenham, Professor Philip Esler, and two other members of the college's senior management say defamed their clients. Ms Siedlecka has removed the letter from her website.
But lawyers for St Mary's were due in the High Court on Monday to request a Norwich Pharmacal order if Ms Siedlecka does not reveal the identity of the author of the letter. The order would force Ms Siedlecka to reveal her source. Jennifer Agate, of Wiggin LLP, the lawyers representing St Mary's senior management, said that the source had written a letter intended for publication, and responsible journalism normally names authors.
Ms Siedlecka told The Tablet that she will not reveal the author's identity in keeping with long-established protocol that journalists do not reveal their sources and are willing to face to prison for refusing to do so.
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