Harju County Court on Wednesday prohibited journalists from liveblogging the trial of suspended Tallinn mayor and former longtime Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar.
The court said that what happens in the courtroom should not immediately reach online media, and so on Wednesday afternoon, journalists in the courtroom were required to put away their laptops. As a result, journalists were required to switch to pen and paper to take notes on the trial.
The media issue was raised by defense lawyer Aivar Pilv, who said that running a liveblog was in essence publishing the minutes of the trial in the media, adding that this should not be allowed. "Currently, the publication of all previous proceedings is through the press and this is not in accordance with the principles of court proceedings," Pilv said. He clarified that he did not wish for the trial to be a closed one, but disapproved of publishing what was being said in court in online media.
Chief State Prosecutor Steven-Hristo Evestus said that public interest at the beginning of a trial was understandable and that no principles of criminal proceedings had been violated as a result. "There is no reasosn to flatter oneself thinking that this kind of interest will last for the duration of the trial," Evestus commented. "There is no reason to set stricter rules on journalists covering the hearings."
Editor: Aili Vahtla