Australia

Contempt charges against Ray Hadley and Herald Sun dropped in Pell case

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The Sydney 2GB broadcaster and Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston have been removed from the list of journalists and outlets facing contempt allegations.

Contempt charges against Sydney shock jock Ray Hadley and the editor of Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper over the reporting of Cardinal George Pell's sex abuse case have been dropped.

The Sydney 2GB broadcaster and Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston were on Monday removed from the list of journalists and outlets facing contempt allegations.

Radio broadcaster Ray Hadley.
Charges have been dropped against radio broadcaster Ray Hadley.
AAP

But Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions will continue action against 34 Australian news organisations and editorial staff for contempt of court.

Charges relate to reporting Pell's high-profile sex abuse trial which was shrouded in non-publication orders to ensure the court case would not be prejudiced.

A jury found the cardinal guilty of five charges in December and he is serving a prison term of at least three years and eight months.

The move to excuse Hadley and Johnston followed demands by their lawyers for more details of allegations they breached the suppression order, which prevented publication of the verdict in Australia until February.

Prosecutors alleged a series of publications and broadcasts on December 13 last year were in contempt.

Justice John Dixon ordered prosecutors file detailed statements of claim against all individuals facing charges by Monday, and the defence to file responses by June 21.

Pell is appealing his convictions and denies any wrongdoing.

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