Rappers warning witnesses away from murder trial go to jail

Free speech and publishing it online only goes so far as one rap group found out.

Free speech and publishing it online only goes so far as one rap group found out.  The BBC reported that British Judge Richard Hone agreed with prosecutors that the song and links they published on Myspace and Facebook as intended to scare witnesses away from testifying before the court in the murder trial of Jason Johnson of West London.

Ishmael McLean, 22, from Greenford, and Rowan Simon, 18, from Ealing, West London, were found guilty of acting to pervert the course of justice.

McLean was jailed for four years and Simon was jailed for 30 months.

McLean was also sentenced to a year in jail for possessing ammunition, the term to run concurrently.

This is the first case of its kind where Internet media has been successfully used in a criminal case of threatening a community without actually targeting a specific individual.