TWO animal rights campaigners accused of contempt of court by failing to release the email addresses of 700 supporters will face court at the end of the month.

Robert Cogswell and Mel Broughton were due to appear in the High Court on Tuesday, December 19, but proceedings were postponed and the pair will return to the High Court on Monday, January 29.

The contempt proceedings followed an order issued by Mr Justice Gibbs on October 19, banning Speak from naming the construction company it believed is building Oxford University's £18m animal research laboratory in South Parks Road.

Speak named the firm on its website, but later removed it.

Mr Cogswell said the order also proposed that Speak's email alert list should be given to the university so that individual members could be contacted and asked not to disseminate the name of the company.

He said Speak had decided not to release the list of 700 names because it considered it a 'fishing expedition' by the university and an attempt to undermine the campaign.

A university spokesman said: "This matter is now in the hands of the courts, but members of Speak are aware that court orders exist, and that they may be liable to penalties if they breach the injunction protecting all those associated with the university from harassment and intimidation."

Speak is intending to demonstrate outside the High Court while the case is being heard and has asked supporters to bring banners, whistles and loud hailers.

If found guilty Mr Cogswell and Mr Broughton face a possible prison sentence.