The thousands of stories that appear online about the conspiracy to murder bikie associate John Macris will stay online, said a court ruling.
An NSW judge, who launched a court order urging media to remove thousands of online stories about Sydney’s Ibrahim family, has failed to do so, with the appeal court ruling the direction as “futile” there are many places on the internet outside of the court’s control.
Bikie gang members Fadi Ibrahim is in court with brother Michael and associate Rodney Atkinson charged with conspiring to murder bikie associate John Macris in Broken Hill, Sydney in 2009.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
As court proceedings are still going on, NSW District Court Judge James Bennett ordered stories referring to criminal matters involving the three defendants to be taken off the internet in case they prejudiced the jury. However, last week the Court of Criminal Appeal agreed with media law experts that the judge’s order was impossible to carry out entirely because of the large amount of information on the internet that is beyond the court’s control.
The court also said the judge’s order unfairly restricted access to information for people across Australia, even though jurors for the trial would have been picked from people living in New South Wales.
The CCA judgment is likely to affect online coverage of other court and criminal matters in New South Wales.