Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones faces an unwelcome distraction as he prepares to carry out MC duties at the state funeral of the late Kerry Packer on Friday – a date with Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court tomorrow.

Sitting at No 47 on tomorrow’s court list is Alan Belford Jones, with a court number yet to be allocated for his 9:30am appearance. Jones is charged with breaching Section 11 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 when he broadcast the name of a juvenile witness during his 2GB morning program late last year.

The
offence carries a maximum penalty of $5,500 or 12 months imprisonment,
or both. Jones allegedly read the name of the juvenile on air from a
report in The Daily Telegraph – the paper is also being summonsed and faces a maximum penalty of $55,000.

Interestingly,
Jones’s legal troubles come just a couple of weeks after he let loose
with a massive spray at the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions
Nicholas Cowdery in support of a caller who objected to Cowdery’s
criticism in The Bulletin
of NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Opposition Lead Peter Debnam for using
terms like “thugs” and “grubs” to describe those involved in payback
attacks after the Cronulla riots. Here’s what Jones said during the 1
February broadcast:

JONES: Bruce, we take no notice of the DPP. The man seems
to be, somehow or other, I don’t know, overwhelmed with malice and envy
and jealousy, all the awful traits that apply to people in humankind,
and he doesn’t seem to understand that he’s a public servant, Cowdery,
a public servant, no more, no less. And of course he plays get square
mechanisms as well, and he’ll get square, he’s a man who’s very
vengeful, and his language is very vengeful, and for him to attack the
Premier, simply because he called people thugs and grubs, there is
behaviour in the public place which can be ascribed to people, and
those words aptly apply to people who behave in that way.

BRUCE: Alan, that’s why we’re in the position we’re in now….

JONES: Yes

BRUCE: …because people like this start the ball rolling, and other people follow suit.

JONES:
Well, he’s a public servant, he doesn’t like it, unfortunately the
whole DPP contract should be revised, the legislation providing for the
DPP, and the man should be sackable. Any public servant should be able
to be sacked, and the government should be able to get rid of this
fellow, they can’t, and that’s something that Bob Carr rued.

But Mr Cowdery, let’s be quite clear about this, we talk
about bullies and everything in the public place, this man’s a bully,
he’s educated, so he uses his language to denigrate people, and his
denigration of the Premier occurred in the last 24 hours, not the first
Premier he’s denigrated, he’s had shots at Bob Carr in the past as
well, he goes around in the public place, but if you asked him to come
on here and face an intellectual challenge, he would be unequal to that
intellectual challenge. He doesn’t like people asking him hard
questions, and that’s why he denigrates those people who might, and of
course I’m at the top of that tree.

Fifteen minutes later during the same broadcast Jones returned to his attack on Cowdery:

JONES: Just back to this unaccountable fellow, Cowdery. He
has accused Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam of trying to gain political
mileage out of the Cronulla riots and the revenge attacks. And he’s
labelled – He says labelling the people wanted as thugs and grubs is
irresponsible and says the comments could adversely affect the trials
of those accused.

Mr Cowdery said politicians should never try
to get mileage out of criminal proceedings and that the comments could
adversely affect the trials of those accused. Well, Mr Cowdery, if
comments of that kind can affect the trial of anybody, then there is
something seriously wrong with the justice system in New South Wales.

And of course, this isn’t Jones’s first brush with the law – see here.

Peter Fray

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