Case against blogger open to public

Case against blogger open to public

The hearing to determine whether an article written by blogger Alex Au is in contempt of court will be open to the public, and Mr Au will have every opportunity to rebut the charge against him, said the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).

Mr Au had written an article on his blog, Yawning Bread, which the AGC said "contains allegations of wrongdoing by senior judicial officials".

After the AGC was granted permission by the High Court to take action against the blogger, some 170 civil activists, academics and artists signed a statement of support for Mr Au.

The AGC noted that the statement acknowledges that it is important to uphold public confidence in the judiciary, and states that "if Mr Au has erred, then his claims should be rebutted in public". The AGC said it agrees with this stand.

Responding to queries about the statement of support on Thursday, the AGC said: "The constitutional right to free speech and expression is not an absolute right, but is subject to limits which are expressly provided for in the Constitution.

"As important as the right to free speech and expression is, the Constitution recognises that our society as a whole must be safeguarded against statements without basis which injure the reputation of persons or lower confidence in the administration of justice."

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