Riley libel trial: will it all be over in a week?

I’ve received word that the judge in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me wishes to start the trial at 10.30am on Monday morning (July 18).

If you are able to attend, and wish to, it will be at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London. As far as I am aware, it’s a public hearing, so by all means come along. I’ll be happy to have some support!

The trial is intended to last 3.5 days, including half a day’s reading time. We don’t know if the judge intends to have done her reading before starting, or if she wants to hear opening submissions on Monday morning and do her reading in the afternoon.

If the former, then it could all be over in a week from the time I’m writing this (5pm, Wednesday, July 13). If the latter, a week tomorrow lunchtime. I can’t wait.

As I’m relying on the public interest defence, the questions are: Was my Serial abuser article written on matters of public interest? Did I believe it was? And was my belief reasonable?

I don’t think it’s disputed that the subject was a matter of public interest. The case will hinge on whether I believed it was, and whether that belief was reasonable.

Of course, I believed it then and I still believe it now.

I’m hoping I will get a chance to demonstrate that belief. I’m wondering what ploys will be employed by the other side to put me off.

Meanwhile, the CrowdJustice fund is still around £9,000 short of its target, after my VAT shock of a few days ago.

Please continue to contribute, if you can. Here are the, by now, time-honoured instructions:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button at the bottom of this article, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

As we come to the end of this sordid affair, I have to admit I’m nervous. If you can come along and provide some moral support, I’d be very happy to see you.

And if you can take the burden of funding away from me, I’d be doubly delighted.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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