O’Hagan suspect’s case against Sunday World fails
DREW KING, one of the men against whom charges of involvement in the murder of journalist Martin O'Hagan were withdrawn in July, has failed in his attempt to sue the Sunday World for harassment.
Martin O'Hagan was murdered on the evening of Friday 28 September 2001 in front of his wife near his home in Lurgan, County Armagh. He had built a considerable reputation for reporting, in the Sunday World, on the criminal activities of paramilitary organisations of all kinds in the North of Ireland.
King claimed that the newspaper's reporting of his being charged constituted harassment. Sunday World Northern Editor Jim McDowell told the High Court that King forfeited his right to privacy when he became involved in the murder - he was convinced King had been involved in the murder. On 22 September Mr Justice Weatherup found that the articles "did not amount to harassment", though he did find that there had been a misuse of private information on "peripheral details" about the place of work and family of King's partner, and that King's address may not be published in future.
Jim McDowell said after the hearing that "Martin O'Hagan was murdered for doing his job. Today's judgment allows us in the Sunday World and every other newspaper to continue to do our job to seek justice for those who are the victims of murder."