CBC Newsworld
Tuesday, March 30, 1999

Bernardo author refuses to reveal sources

The Canadian Association of Journalists has thrown its support behind a writer who is charged with breaching a court order and who may be forced to reveal his sources.

Stephen Williams, author of a book on the Paul Bernardo case, appeared briefly in court Monday in Toronto. He is charged with breaching a court order that sealed the secret videotapes of convicted killer Bernardo.

The tapes show Bernardo torturing his teenage victims. They have been sealed by the courts and only a tight circle of lawyers, detectives, and jury members have been allowed to see them.

Williams' book is a detailed account of the Bernardo killings, but he says he never actually saw the tapes.

The Crown may ask Williams to reveal his sources to back up his story.

The issue of sources will likely come up in June. If the judge allows Williams to refuse to reveal names it will create a landmark precedent. No Canadian court has ever granted a writer such protection.

PEN and the Writers Union have already shown their support of Williams' right to keep his sources secret.

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