The European Court of Human Rights believes the source protection must be in front of testimony. Thus, DN journalist Cecilie Langum Becker won against Norwegian state in Strasbourg.
Norway has violated Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the court states.
“I wholeheartedly agree that Article 10 has been violated in this case,” said judge Nona Tsotsoria according to NTB.
Article 10 ensures freedom of expression – and the right to receive and disseminate information freely.
The European Court of Human Rights now orders Norway to repay 30,000 NOK to Becker who was previously charged for refusing to reveal the identity of her sources in a news article.
The decision concerns a case where Becker was summoned as a witness in a financial criminal case against a central investor in the Norwegian oil and gas company DNO. The police started an investigation about the company after she wrote about the case for DN.no in 2007.
The court wanted to know who Becker had talked to. But Becker refused to reveal the identity of her sources.
Both the Oslo District Court and Borgarting Court of Appeal found that the journalist had to testify. The case was also appealed to the Supreme Court, but was rejected. Then Becker took the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
– We are not surprised. We were absolutely sure we would win, “says Becker to NTB.