19.7.06

Secrecy ruling by judge on Blair-Bush talk

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Secrecy ruling by judge on Blair-Bush talk:

democracy? freedom of the wha?

The public must be prevented from learning the contents of a conversation between Tony Blair and President George Bush about the conduct of the war in Iraq - crucial evidence in a forthcoming official secrets trial - an Old Bailey judge ruled yesterday.

Any discussion of an already partially leaked document - in which Mr Bush purportedly said in April 2004 that he wanted to bomb the Arabic satellite TV station al-Jazeera, and Mr Blair expressed concern about US military tactics in the Iraqi city of Falluja - must be heard behind closed doors, Mr Justice Aikens ruled. He also banned the public and the media from hearing the prosecution's arguments on the grounds of national security.

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