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The court of New Zealand has forbidden to mention the name of the accused in the murder of a tourist. Google sent it to the locals 

The company claims that it did not know about the decision of the authority, but the authorities of the country do not believe this.

Dead Grace Millan. Photos from her archive

New Zealand authorities have criticized Google for revealing the identity of a man accused of resonant murder of the British traveler Grace Millan. The company mentioned the name of the person involved in the case about popular queries, despite the ban on disclosing this information.

What happened to grace millan

21-year-old Millan from Essex English graduated from university in 2017. This fall, she went on the first world tour. First, she visited Peru, and from South America she moved to New Zealand. Then she planned to go to Australia, but disappeared in Auckland. The last time a girl was seen on December 1, when she entered the CityLife hotel with a 26-year-old man. According to surveillance camera records, before this, the couple visited several places at once.

The next day, Millan should have turned 22 years old. Her parents were worried when they could not contact her daughter. It was unlike the usual behavior of a girl who regularly called the family and “bombarded” the details of the trip.

Millan’s parents reported the disappearance of their daughter, and in the evening of December 9th the police found the girl’s body in bushes along the road in the area of ​​the hills. It is about 25 kilometers from the place where she was last seen. The case of the murder of a traveler acquired in New Zealand a large resonance and launched a discussion about violence against women.

As the name of the accused was forbidden to mention and who violated the decision of the court

On December 10, a man accompanying Millán was brought to justice. He was officially charged with murder. In addition, the judge banned publicly mentioning the name of the person involved in the case in accordance with the norm, which is designed to guarantee an honest and independent process. Local journalists strictly observe the ban.

Although many of the world’s media showed solidarity, several British publications still published the name of the accused in the murder. Referring to these materials, Google added the name to the list of local trends in New Zealand, which sent users subscribed to the newsletter. According to statistics from Google, the data on the identity of men searched more than 100 thousand times.

Google Newsletter “What’s in trend in New Zealand.” Screenshot nzherald.co.nz

How local authorities reacted: they do not believe Google

Who revealed to the British media the name of the accused in the murder of Millán is still unknown. If the police find a “source”, they will open an investigation against him, said New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little.

Google said in New Zealand media that it respects local laws, but did not know about the new ban. “When we receive a court order, we will examine it and respond appropriately,” said a company spokesman.Google also explained that trends are automatically generated..

The government of New Zealand did not believe that Google did not know in advance about the ban on the mention of the likely killer Millan. “They will have to change their algorithm. No need to think that undermining the right to a fair trial will get away with them,  Little said .

Google executives from the US and the UK flew to New Zealand to meet with local authorities on December 18. As for the British media, the New Zealand authorities have no levers of pressure on them. Nevertheless, Little still plans to contact them and “push as hard as he can.”

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