West Law Report

Witnesses anonymity in murder trial

Posted in Witnesses anonymity by mrkooenglish on June 25, 2008

Dozens of murder cases at risk after collapse of hitman trial“, The Times, June 25, 2008

Ministers are determined to rush through emergency laws to halt the collapse of criminal cases throughout England and Wales after senior judges ruled that granting witnesses anonymity could make trials unfair.

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, was in talks with officials last night after the halting of a trial at the Old Bailey and with an estimated 40 other murder cases at risk.

One legal source estimates that 550-600 applications have been or are being made by witnesses for anonymity in pending criminal trials. Lawyers are also set to prepare appeals in a number of cases where evidence depended on anonymous witnesses.

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