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Spectator faces charges over Stephen Lawrence article

Magazine charged with breaching reporting restrictions over piece by Rod Liddle.

The Spectator magazine has been charged over an article it published during the trial of Stephen Lawrence’s killers last year.

The article, by controversial columnist Rod Liddle, claimed that the two defendants would not get a fair trial.

It was allegedly in breach of reporting restrictions, as it was published after the start of the trial, when reports that could prejudice the jury’s decision are prohibited.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that the publisher of the magazine will appear in court next month. It said the magazine had been informed "of our decision to charge them with an offence under section 83 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, in relation to an article by Rod Liddle about the recent Stephen Lawrence trial".

While Liddle has not been charged with an offence, the magazine could face a fine of £5,000 if found guilty.

Gary Dobson and David Norris, the two defendants, were later convicted of murder for their part in the racist murder of the black teenager in April 1993.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.