Guardian makes open justice case over extradition docs

The Guardian has begun legal proceedings to request access to documents relating to the extradition case of a British lawyer who is facing the prospect of up to 55 years in jail in the US.

Jeffrey Tesler, from Tottenham, is accused by American prosecutors of helping to funnel million of dollars in bribes to Nigerian politicians in order to help a company secure the contract to build an energy plant.

The Crown Prosecution Service has opposed the application by Guardian News and Media to make documents relating to the case open under the principle of open justice including correspondence between the Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice.

Guardian journalist Rob Evans told Press Gazette: “Who is the CPS to decide what documents we, as journalists, need to report the case correctly? It’s not up to them.”

He added that the CPS had not given a “very good reason” to keep these documents from the public.

The Guardian’s challenge will be heard at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 20 April. The newspaper will argue that as in civil trials, all documents referred to in court must be made public.

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