Belfast Telegraph

Injunction over identifying Ana Kriegel's teenage killers on social media is extended

Murdered: Ana Kriegel
Murdered: Ana Kriegel

By Andrew Phelan

A court order for Facebook and Twitter to remove any photographs or posts identifying the killers of a schoolgirl in the Republic has been extended.

The injunction, relating to the Ana Kriegel case, was continued at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday.

The social media companies previously appeared at the court on June 19 to face contempt of court proceedings after photographs and the names of Ana's murderers, known as Boy A and Boy B, appeared on their sites.

The pair were found guilty last month of killing the 14-year-old, whose naked body was found in an abandoned farmhouse in Lucan, Co Dublin, in May 2018.

Boy A was also found guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

The two 14-year-olds are the youngest convicted killers in the history of the Irish state, and have been granted lifelong anonymity due to their age.

Mr Justice Michael White yesterday granted a three-week continuation of the order that the social media giants must take down any material identifying the boys that they "become aware of or which is brought to their attention".

The court heard the situation was now "stable" but the Republic's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was concerned that the issue "could flare up" again.

The injunction had been put in place after lawyers for the DPP told the court photographs of the boys, identifying them, had been circulated by social media users.

Brendan Grehan SC, for the DPP, said the situation now was that through "everyone's endeavours, matters are stable at the moment, but the director has very real concerns that matters could flare up again given that the sentencing process is at a particularly delicate stage."

He said sentencing was listed for hearing on Monday week, July 15.

He applied to have the proceedings against Facebook and Twitter adjourned to July 26 and for the existing orders to remain in place until then.

Rossa Fanning SC, for Facebook, said an updated affidavit outlined the fact that since the last court date, the social media platform had endeavoured to "take all reasonable steps" to ensure that compliance with the trial judge's orders had been achieved.

The proceedings, including allegations of contempt of court against Facebook and Twitter, were adjourned to July 26.

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