September 6 1999

Urgent Action - please respond now!

NUJ MEMBER Ed Moloney is facing prison over a court order to surrender his notes of an interview.

Ed Moloney is Belfast editor of the Dublin-based Sunday Tribune and the NUJ is backing his refusal to comply.

The notes are of an interview nine years ago with Billy Stobie, a former loyalist paramilitary now charged with the murder in 1989 of solicitor Pat Finucane. Ed Moloney says all the material is in the public domain through his stories - and that the move is an attempt to shut down discussion of the case. Billy Stobie had claimed in the interview that he had told the RUC the murder was planned and they did nothing to stop it. Attached is a briefing on the case from Ed Moloney himself.

At stake is the vital principle that journalists should never hand over confidential or source material. The order is under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, making the threat of jail more likely than in civil disclosure cases.

Last Friday Ed Moloney lost his appeal against the order and now has a week to hand over - or face the consequences.

All NUJ Branches, Chapels are asked to send messages of support for Ed Moloney: Write to Eoin Ronayne, Irish Secretary, NUJ, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1. Fax: (00 353) 1 874 9250, email: liberty.hall@nuj.ie

And please send copies to the NUJ in London at 314, Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP, fax 0171-837 8143, email: acorn.house@nuj.org.uk

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