Scotspapers' not-guilty pleas

The publishers of two Scottish daily newspapers have pleaded not guilty to a charge involving the alleged identification of a 15-year-old schoolboy facing a murder charge.

Court actions were called last week against Scotsman Publications, which publishes the Edinburgh Evening News, and Aberdeen Journals, which publishes the Press and Journal , at Edinburgh and Aberdeen Sheriff Courts. Both companies denied contravening Section 47 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 which bars identification of any person under 16 concerned in proceedings.

A trial date for Scotsman Publications has been set for 1 March, 2005, and Aberdeen Journals will face trial on 18 February, 2005.

The charge relates to proceedings against teenager Luke Mitchell who was 15 at the time.

Now aged 16, Mitchell has denied murdering schoolgirl Jodi Jones, 14, who went missing in June 2003.

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