An Irish journalist who would not reveal infornation about dissident republican group, the Real IRA, to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, has won her case to protect her sources in a Belfast Court.
The police wanted the information for their investigation into the murder of two British soldiers in March, but Suzanne Breen, the northern editor of Dublin-based paper The Sunday Tribune, refused to cooperate and vowed to protect the indentify of her sources.
The PSNI argued that there would be no threat to Breen’s safety if she handed over her sources
However, on Thursday, Judge Tom Burgess in Belfast agreed with Breen, saying that to divulge that information would put her life in peril.
“The group has the capacity to carry out such threat and is willing to carry out such actions,” the judge was quoted as saying in the Irish Times.
“While Ms Breen may well have put herself at risk by involving herself with such an organization, that risk would be greatly increased if she were to breach confidentiality,” continued the Belfast Recorder.
Breen called the judgment a “landmark decision” that will protect all investigative journalists.
"Hopefully it means that no other journalist will be dragged before the courts...It couldn’t have been a better judgment from our point of view,” she said after the hearing.
“The police should do their job and leave journalists alone to do ours.”