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Sunday, 11 November, 2001, 02:50 GMT
'Gagged' newspaper to appeal
Sunday People
The Sunday People feels press freedom is being undermined
By BBC Media Correspondent Torin Douglas

The Sunday People has revealed that it was the newspaper prevented by a High Court judge from reporting details of a married footballer's alleged affairs.

Its editor says it will appeal against the court ruling.

In the latest edition, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Lord Wakeham, condemns the judgement as "a free licence for the bully and the cheat", threatening the public's right to know.

Last week it emerged the footballer, who cannot be named, had obtained an injunction to stop the newspaper publishing interviews with two women who claimed to have had affairs with him.

Mr Justice Jack ruled that the law of confidentiality could apply to sexual relationships, whether or not the parties had expressly agreed to keep matters confidential.

The People says it will fight what it calls a "scandalous gagging order".

It publishes the footballer's story, without names, and says that under the terms of the ruling some of the greatest scandals of the 20th Century - such as the Profumo affair - might never have come to light.

The paper's columnist David Mellor, whose infidelity was exposed by the press while he was a government minister, also strongly criticises the decision as an attack on press freedom.

See also:

04 Oct 01 | Sci/Tech
US u-turn on online privacy laws
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