Judge rules BlackBerry allowed in Ottawa Mayor trial


I live in the capital of Canada where we have a mayor who is being charged with serious corruption charges. While at WES, I missed the first day of trial for Mayor Larry O’Brien, who is facing charges of trying to bribe an opponent to drop out of the 2006 mayoral race and of pretending to have influence with a minister in Canada’s conservative government.

Superior Court Justice J. Douglas Cunningham, ruled that BlackBerry devices would be allowed in court, but only to send and receive text data. The phone and camera features could not be used. This means that Twitter will be completely legal during the trial.

In arguments over the BlackBerry devices and text-messaging, Crown attorney Scott Hutchison said electronic updates from the court, once published, could not be retrieved once in the “Twittersphere.”

“The issue is whether or not the genie can be put back in the bottle,” he said.

Overall, I think the more public presence the better. Also, since the case involves a public servant, taxpayers have a right to updates in real-time.

Does anybody know a Twitter account that will be there? Please comment the account name.

5 Responses to “Judge rules BlackBerry allowed in Ottawa Mayor trial”

  1. 1 DaFD

    @CunninghamTrial iirc

  2. 2 CJ

    Yeah, I totally disagree with you. No one has a “right” to know what’s happening at a trial in real time. Of more importance here is the fact that the tweets that are put out during the trial could have an impact on the trial itself, for instance if the jurors aren’t sequestered and are allowed to go home each day and read or hear about something that may have been said outside of their presence so as not to prejudice them, and on any subsequent trial if the jury ends up deadlocked and retrial takes place. There is a place for twitter in covering news events but live in a courthouse during a trial isn’t 1 of them in my opinion.

  3. 3 John DeBusk

    @cj all trials are welcome to the public any ways whats the problem if ur there or reading a web feed?

  4. 4 SaneinOne


  5. 5 Dan_CBC

    Follow On Twitter… it’s in French!
    I guess my English Collegues aren’t into Tweets!!!

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