|Ria Taitt (Express photo)|
On Thursday her lawyer informed the enquiry that she won't reveal the source and when she returned as requested on Friday it was the lead counsel for the enquiry, Peter Carter, who made a case to the commissioner, Sir Anthony Colman, to drop the matter.
Carter said, it would unsatisfactory for the probe to be bogged down with that matter.
Carter told Sir Anthony, "The question is whether it is appropriate bearing in mind the stern rebuke you gave (Thursday), whether it is appropriate or necessary for the commission to embark upon what will effectively be an enquiry within an enquiry."
He pointed out that Taitt was following a universally accepted journalistic principle of protecting a source and therefore there was "no point in putting her through that endurance for no particular purpose."
Carter added that the local media have been "consistently good, accurate and responsible" in their coverage of the enquiry.
"The press have been, with this possible exception, and I say possible exception because we do not know the circumstances, have been consistently good, accurate and responsible in the way they are reporting the proceedings and the background to these proceedings," Carter said.
"I suggest, Sir, that there is not really much point in us spending extra time in exploring this and if the matter is to be taken further it should be taken further by those responsible with the administration of justice generally in this country," Carter said.
Sir Anthony agreed. However, he called on the media to undertake not to publish statements before the witness in question appears at the enquiry.
"I want to make it clear the need for that undertaking is of considerable importance because putting a witness statement in the public domain which has not been the subject of evidence puts not only the witness in a prejudicial position but puts other parties in a prejudicial position," he said, adding that if the media didn't follow that rule the enquiry would run into "no end of trouble".