Other journalists arrested following high profile articles

Liam Clarke who died in 2015 and wife Kathy Johnston who were arrested in 2003 for an alleged breach of the Official Secrets Act.

IN 2003 journalists Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston were arrested in connection with an alleged breach of the Official Secrets Act following the publication of MI5 transcripts.

The married couple's home was searched, offices belonging to Mr Clarke, who was at the time Ireland editor of the Sunday Times, were also raided and documents seized.

The arrest was said to be in connection to reports of phone taps purporting to show a cosy relationship between Mo Mowlam, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, and the late Martin McGuinness, then Sinn Fein negotiator.

The leaked transcripts were reported to also show Jonathan Powell, then Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief of staff, referring to some Unionists as "asses".

The couple were held for five hours at Antrim police station, but never charged with any offence. Mr Clarke died in 2015, following a battle with cancer.

Former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, criticised the police operation at the time as "poorly led and unprofessional".

In 2006 the PSNI agreed to pay substantial damages to the couple.

While arrested under the Official Secrets Act Mr Clarke and Ms Johnston argued that the wrong type of warrant had been used to gain entry to their home in Ballymena. The case was settled out of court.

In 2009, Belfast journalist Suzanne Breen was approached by the PSNI and asked to hand over details about sources, linked to a claim of responsibility by the Real IRA following the murders of two soldiers at Masereene army base in Antrim.

Sappers Mark Quinsey (23) from Birmingham, and Patrick Azimkar (21) were shot dead as they collected pizzas outside the barracks in Antrim on March 7, 2009.

Ms Breen was supported by the National Union of Journalists and the Sunday Tribune who she worked for at that time.

Initially, a High Court judge said he was minded to grant the order to the PSNI, but, in June 2009, ruled in her favour, saying she didn't have to hand over her notes.

In 1990 journalist Ed Moloney, then editor of the Dublin-based Sunday Tribune, interviewed loyalist William Stobie who reportedly confessed to his part in the 1989 murder of solicitor Pat Finucane.

In September 1999, Moloney refused to hand over notes of interviews with Stobie. Belfast High Court overturned a previous order by Antrim Crown Court that he should hand over notes.

In 1971 journalist Bernard Falk, who was working for the BBC, interviewed a spokesman for the IRA, silhouetted with his back to camera.

A man was later charged with membership of the IRA with the RUC claiming the defendant was the man Mr Falk interviewed.

Mr Falk claimed a right of journalistic privilege and repeatedly refused to identify the man in the dock. The magistrates Paddy Maxwell and Wishart Mills, sentenced him to four days imprisonment for contempt of court. He never revealed his source.

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