sun editor judges don\t have balance right on privacy
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Sun editor: judges don\'t have balance right on privacy

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Sun editor: judges don\'t have balance right on privacy

London - Arabstoday

The editor of the Sun has told MPs and peers that judges had "not got the balance right" when it came to privacy cases involving celebrities and public figures. Dominic Mohan, speaking before a joint parliamentary committee of examining reform of legislation relating to privacy and injunctions, said that he would ask judges to "balance it [their judgments] more in favour of freedom of expression". At present high court judges hearing privacy cases such as the Imogen Thomas "kiss and tell" story have to balance between Article 8, the right to privacy in the Human Rights Act, and Article 10, the right of freedom of expression. Mohan, who runs Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, said that "clearly there is a friction between the two articles". He argued that the law should be "rewritten with a clause that emphasises how sacred freedom of expression is". The Sun editor also added that he believed that the Human Rights Act was not popular. He said: "Quite a few of our readers would be in favour of abolishing the Human Rights Act, that's for sure." It was the first time that the Sun editor had spoken publicly since four past and present Sun journalists and executives were arrested and bailed at the weekend over alleged illegal payments to police officers. But that topic did not come up in the committee's questioning of Mohan, who has been editor of the Sun since 2009. Mohan also apologised to Christopher Jefferies, the Bristol schoolteacher who was caught in a blaze of hostile publicity when he was arrested on the suspicion of the murder of Joanna Yeates in late 2010. Jefferies was subsequently released without charge. The Sun and Daily Mirror were found guilty of contempt of court and fined £18,000 and £50,000, respectively for their Jefferies coverage. The Sun was also one of eight newspapers that paid libel damages to Jefferies. Speaking publicly for the first time about Jefferies, Mohan said he wanted to "take this opportunity" to apologise to him. Although the editor was not on duty at the time of the offending Sun stories, he said the coverage of the teacher's arrest and background was "a slip in standards" and that the title's reporting of his arrest was "over the top". Mohan said that he had "admonished those involved" verbally and had received some sort of informal rebuke from his boss, saying that "I had conversations with the chief executive on that" – apparently referring to News International's then chief executive, Rebekah Brooks. Mohan also conceded that he probably should been stricter in the immediate aftermath, by issuing written warning letters, but instead he said he had acted to tighten up procedures since, including hiring an extra lawyer, and he added that he had "issued more letters [to staff] since in relation to other issues".  

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