Yahoo7 fined $320,000 for contempt of court after murder trial aborted because of journalist's article

Yahoo7 reporter Krystal Johnson bypassed sub-editors and editors and published an article about Mataio Aleluia's murder ...
JUSTIN MCMANUS

Yahoo7 reporter Krystal Johnson bypassed sub-editors and editors and published an article about Mataio Aleluia's murder trial, but the report contained material that had not been put to the jury.

Australian media website Yahoo7 has been convicted and fined NZD$320,000 after publishing a story by an inexperienced journalist that caused a Melbourne murder trial to be aborted.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon handed down his penalty on Friday after earlier finding Sydney reporter Krystal Johnson and Yahoo7 guilty of contempt of court for publishing details about a defendant that could prejudice a jury.

Justice Dixon ordered Johnson to undertake a two-year good behaviour bond, and as she was not in court, sought through her legal team her consent to the order.

READ MORE: Australian journalist and website found guilty of contempt of court

Johnson bypassed sub-editors and published an article about Mataio Aleluia's murder trial, but the report contained material that had not been put to the jury, which left Justice Lex Lasry no option than to abort the trial and order a retrial.

Johnson's lawyers later told the court she thought the sub-editors were too "busy" at the time to check her report and so published it herself.

Aleluia was in December found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Brittany Harvie.

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 - AAP

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