The lawyer of one of the men accused of violating the Official Secrets Act over the leak of a document allegedly showing that George W. Bush had proposed to bomb the headquarters of al-Jazeera will seek disclosure of the document during the trial.
Former parliamentary researcher Leo O’Connor and former government communications official David Keogh are facing charges over the leak. The trial date was set yesterday with little fanfare. The New York Times today reports:
Neil Clark, a lawyer for Mr. O’Connor, said he was shown the memo for the first time on Tuesday on condition that he discuss it only with his client. But, Mr. Clark said, he would seek the disclosure of the document in court. “I didn’t think there was anything in there that could embarrass the British government,” he said.
Hundreds of bloggers have vowed to defy reporting restrictions by publishing the document if it comes into their possession. So far has not been seen publically. Even the Daily Mirror’s Kevin Maguire, who broke the story, based his account entirely on the recollections of individuals who had seen the document.
Yesterday, we learned that Labour MPs Tony Clarke and Peter Kilfoyle had in October 2004 revealed the contents of the document to a British expatriate in California, John Latham. Although they admit this violation of the Official Secrets Act, they are not facing charges.