OTTAWA, Ontario — The Supreme Court of Canada says a Vice Media reporter must give Canada’s national police force material he gathered for stories about an accused terrorist. The case has pitted press freedoms against the investigative powers of police.
The high court said in a 9-0 decision Friday the state’s interest in prosecuting crime outweighed the media’s right to privacy in gathering the news.
Reporter Ben Makuch in 2014 wrote three articles about the involvement of Farah Mohamed Shirdon, formerly of Calgary, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Shirdon appeared in an ISIL propaganda video.
Their exchanges in text-messaging service were crucial to the articles.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2015 directed Vice Media and Makuch to provide documents and data relating to communications with Shirdon.