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Blogger to defend suppression breach charges

The internet blogger charged with breaching name suppression orders says he will defend the charges.

Police say Auckland's Cameron Slater, who writes the blog Whaleoil, broke name suppression by posting pictorial clues identifying the individuals in two high profile sexual offence cases.

One case involved an Olympian and the other a well-known entertainer.

Slater faces five charges, relating to breaching court orders suppressing the names of the accused and one of the victims.

It is the first time a New Zealand blogger has been taken to court rather than just warned.

Slater said he would defend his actions because the laws which protect people's identities need changing, the Dominion Post reported.

He believed suppression laws were out of date and if acquitted he would publish the blogs again.

Canterbury University associate professor of journalism Jim Tully said the decision to charge Slater showed authorities recognised suppression rulings would become meaningless unless they were enforced.

Slater will appear in the Auckland District Court on January 5.

Meanwhile, a blogger has also criticised some of the New Zealanders in the yet-to-be officially released New Year's honours list.

The blog sparked an urgent phone call from the Honours Secretariat on Christmas Eve to media organisations, asking them to respect a December 31 embargo.

- NZPA

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