Charges have been dropped against three journalists in the contempt trial over the way Cardinal George Pell's conviction was reported.

Barrister Lisa De Ferrari SC, acting for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said on Thursday she was instructed not to proceed with charges against three people facing contempt charges.

"I have instructions not to proceed with certain charges," she said.

 

The charges were dropped against three News Corp Australia digital editors: Andrew Piva of the Geelong Advertiser, Lachlan Hastings of The Weekly Times and Michael Owen-Brown of The Advertiser.

Will Houghton QC, counsel for News Corp Australia, described it as "extraordinary" that the Office of Public Prosecutions finally realised it had no case against these journalists almost two years after proceedings began.

Justice John Dixon ordered the proceedings against the individuals be dismissed.

He said he reserved his decision on the question of any costs.

Eighteen journalists and 12 media organisations are trial in the Victorian Supreme Court for allegedly breaching a gag order on Cardinal Pell's child sex convictions, which have since been overturned.

The trial is continuing.

News Corp Australia is the publisher of NCA NewsWire.

Originally published as Charges dropped in Pell contempt case


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