Tag Archives: trial

Riley libel trial: common sense prevails

Rachel Riley’s lawyers have relented and agreed to the trial lasting three days on the basis that – as stated in the previous update – it is a waste of time having a day in court arguing about whether or not to have a day in court.

I cannot claim that the update I posted at lunchtime today (September 9) had anything to do with the change; my solicitor sent an email informing me of it immediately after I had posted the article, which suggests that the decision happened as I was writing it.

I did not see the email until much later.

Yes, I could claim it as a victory for my side of the case, but it’s really a victory for common sense. I’m glad that the team at Patron Law agreed that there was no point in arguing about something that would not benefit anybody.

I still need funds though!

Those of you who saw the last update have responded admirably and the fund is almost £1,000 better-off as a result. The trial will cost a lot more than that, though, and the best thing to do is keep a steady stream of funds flowing, so I can build up to readiness by the time the hearings happen – probably next April.

So if you haven’t donated today, please do one or more of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

We are now closer to getting this case behind us.

Next come disclosures – of documents that influenced our choices regarding the facts of the case. I have very little to add to what is already known to the court.

It will be very interesting to see what Ms Riley produces.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel: is her fuss over trial length the return of an old fund-draining tactic?

Rachel Riley’s lawyers are making a mountain out of a mole hill, and I have to ask whether they are doing it simply to find another way to drain the funds you have been kind enough to give me.

If so, then it raises serious questions about the possible weakness of her case against me; if she is still trying to stop this case from getting to court, she cannot expect to win in a fair trial – right?

The issue is the expected length of the trial. Riley’s legal team say it will take only two days but I reckon it will take three.

If it is listed for two days but overruns, then it will have to be completed at a later date, incurring large costs because both sets of lawyers will have to re-familiarise themselves with the details, as will the judge. And judges tend to become very angry if cases overrun because of the necessity either to rearrange other work or delay part of the case for an extended time.

If I push for three days, though, Riley’s legals could ask the court to list the matter for a “costs and case management conference” so the court can determine the trial length. This will be a waste of time and money because the hearing would discuss nothing else.

And it could result in a ruling that a three-day trial is necessary, meaning both sides pay for the third day and the extra hearing.

Or we can have a three-day trial, knowing exactly how much it will cost, and just get on with it, in accordance with my wishes. If it underruns, both Riley and I will be better-off because a shorter trial means legal fees will be lower. And the judge will be happy because it will provide time for them to prepare for other trials and/or write up other judgments.

So why are Riley’s lawyers dragging their feet?

The only reason that makes sense is that they want to waste your money – the cash you have donated to help me fight this case.

Already my funds are being drained because of the constant back-and-forth trickle of correspondence between my solicitor and Riley’s at Patron Law, whose insistence on a two-day trial could lead to huge further financial burdens.

There is only one way to discourage this form of lawfare – in which the claimant does not expect to win but to intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their opposition. That is to show them that they cannot win by this underhand tactic.

So I’m going to appeal for donations again.

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

If donations keep coming in, it will show Riley’s lawyers that they really can’t win by trying to drain my cash and that they should concentrate on their legal arguments.

If donations to my cause are generous, it will mean their tactic has backfired and they will have strengthened me with a pointless quibble. Wouldn’t that be great?

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel trial: will her lawyers waste your money by getting trial length wrong?

It seems Rachel Riley’s lawyers are sticking to their guns – they reckon the High Court will only need two days to hear her libel trial against me.

Of course, the length of the trial is within their gift, to a large extent. If they decide they don’t need a lot of time to cross-examine me, they could probably reduce the court’s time significantly.

But if they get it wrong; if they overrun and force an adjournment, with all the extra expense that entails, then they will be ramping up my costs by more than half as much again, just for a single day (there would be extra “reading-in” costs for both legal teams and for the judge, among other spending requirements, no doubt).

That would be unreasonable, so I’ve told my solicitor they only way I would not oppose their demand for a two-day trial is if Riley promises to pay all costs associated with any adjournment.

I’m willing to bet a pound to a penny that I’ll be told I can’t make such a demand, but I think it is important to stand up to people who would use money as a coercive device without a second thought.

On a more positive note, it seems that even though I cannot influence the choice of judge (I was concerned that the judge who got last year’s strike-out application wrong may then go on to hear the trial), the judiciary does tend to take a pragmatic approach and the judge in question may prefer not to hear a public interest defence she has already – wrongly – struck out.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to you all for pushing the CrowdJustice donations up to £170,000 by the end of August. That’s a brilliant achievement at a time when developments have been relatively slow.

I’m hoping to hit £180k by the end of September (the trial will cost a lot) so please keep donating if you can and encourage others to donate too. Here’s how:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

Next up is the issue of disclosure – telling the court about background documents that are relevant to the case, even if they might harm our relative sides.

I have already been up-front about the material that influenced me. I look forward to discovering whether Riley can show the same honesty.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel: will Vox Political’s Mike get a fair hearing at the trial?

Good news/bad news:

It seems I’m likely to be able to agree directions for the trial of Rachel Riley’s libel claims against me. Just about the only bone of contention is the length of time it is likely to take.

Her legal team says two days; I reckon three. It’s better to plan in too much time than to have too little and go to the expense of coming back at another date, with all the lawyers involved, including the judge, having to ‘read in’ again in order to remember what’s going on.

It might be a last gasp for Riley’s old plan to spend all the crowdfunded money you’ve provided on time-wasting side-issues. Hopefully it will be dismissed as a bad idea.

More worrying is the choice of the judge. What if Mrs Justice Collins Rice – who got the strike-out application wrong – is chosen to hear the trial?

I would have serious concerns about that.

I am told that, as defamation cases are usually heard by full-time High Court judges, I will end up with one who has already dealt with it in some way – Mr Justice Nicklin, Mr Justice Saini or Mrs Justice Collins Rice – although there are some other judges who deal with defamation.

My concern is obvious and logical: after her performance at the strike-out hearing – when her decision was wrong – I do not believe I would get a fair hearing.

Let’s face it – I didn’t get one last December.

I have passed my concerns to my own solicitor and am awaiting a response.

In the meantime, please keep your contributions coming, as and when you are able to make them. It is only with your help that I can fight this case at all. By the end, it is likely to have cost around a quarter of a million pounds to defend – and the total raised so far is still a long way from that!

Here are the instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

Hopefully the trial will happen in the not-too-distant future, although obviously I won’t object if it is delayed while the claimant has her baby.

I’ll keep you informed of developments.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Is the DWP pushing benefit claimants into Workfare again?

It seems Therese Coffey is sending benefit claimants back into an old scam.

The Work Trials scheme doesn’t appear to be an exact return to the Mandatory Work Activity scam, but may be Workfare by another name in practice.

Unemployed people claiming state benefits are put into unpaid work with companies for up to 30 days, with the possibility that it could lead to a paid job at the end of that time.

But will it?

The DWP says it checks to ensure that employers are offering genuinely worthy opportunities that could lead to employment.

But are they? Or are they only saying that, in order to get their hands on people who will do the work of fully-paid staff for nothing – and then throw them away after a month?

The people doing the work would receive only around a quarter of what they would get on the government’s so-called living wage – a minimum amount that is actually much less than what people need to survive without claiming any benefits at all.

Stewart McDonald, the SNP’s Glasgow South MP, said the scheme ran against what he had been told by the government:

“I have previously been told by Government ministers that unpaid work trials are exploitative and against the law and I see clearly that this is absolutely not the case when the Government’s own departments are helping create such unpaid work trials.

“Jobseekers and those on benefits participate in these programmes out of good faith, sometimes for up to 30 days at a time, and it is not right should they receive no wage and no guarantee of a job at the end of it.”

This Writer agrees. I have spent years campaigning against Workfare.

But the proof of what this policy does will be in the number of people who succeed in getting a long-term job with it.

Do any readers have experience of it, and has it done you any long-term good?

Source: DWP accused of ‘exploiting’ benefits claimants with unpaid work trials – Daily Record

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Tory MPs face suspension – for ONE DAY – after trying to pervert the course of justice. Why aren’t they in jail?

One law for them: five Tory MPs are being disciplined by a Parliamentary watchdog after they tried to influence the trial of a colleague. That is a crime. Why aren’t they in jail?

We know the reason but I’ll get to it shortly.

The Commons Standards Committee has found that five Conservative MPs breached Parliament’s code of conduct by trying to influence legal proceedings against a colleague:

Theresa Villiers, Natalie Elphicke, Sir Roger Gale, Adam Holloway and Bob Stewart wrote letters regarding ex-MP Charlie Elphicke, who was convicted of sex offences.

The letters on Commons notepaper were addressed to senior judges.

Three of the MPs could be suspended from Parliament for one day.

Ms Villiers, Mrs Elphicke and Sir Roger face suspension, while Mr Holloway and Col Stewart have been told to apologise by the Commons Standards Committee.

Attempting to influence legal proceedings is a crime. These MPs should be facing criminal trial and imprisonment, not suspension from Parliament for a single day.

The way they are being treated is an insult to British justice.

Ah, but the police force that would handle any complaint is the Metropolitan Police, which is run by Cressida Dick. There’s no way any Tory MP will face justice on her watch!

In any case, police are discouraged from prosecuting any member of Parliament at all, under any circumstances. Charlie Elphicke was an exception in which – as I understand it – it was impossible not to take action.

He was the exception that proves the rule that they really are above the law.

Source: Five Tory MPs found to have breached code of conduct – BBC News

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel: she consents to Mike’s amended defence but claims he’s misleading over delays

The High Court in London: by the time Mike’s case gets there, Covid-19 restrictions will have been lifted, it seems. At least that removes one form of pressure!

Even in accepting elements of this case, Rachel Riley manages to be graceless.

Her solicitor has accepted the amendments to my defence against her libel claim – no, it doesn’t mean I’ve won; it simply means she won’t try to stop me putting forward my points at trial.

But the letter from Patron Law suggests that this is being done to prevent me from continuing “misleading his followers and supporters that our client has somehow delayed matters in order to avoid a trial of these issues”.

It is nearly two and a half years since Riley filed her libel claim against me and if I had had my way, the case would have gone to trial long ago. I haven’t caused any delays.

Even now, Riley is quibbling: she reckons I am repeating my Truth and Honest Opinion defences that were dismissed by a High Court judge. In fact, I will rely on factual evidence that was quoted in those defences, and will show how that material brought me to particular conclusions about the events of the case.

She intends to make submissions about it at the trial, which I expect a judge to hear politely before batting them away without a second thought – as has happened previously with other submissions she has made.

My opinion – to which I am entirely entitled, I remind everybody reading – is that this will be an attempt to drag out the hearings, and therefore the costs associated with them.

Even when denying that she’s trying to artificially lengthen the case, that’s exactly what Riley tries to do.

Or so it seems to me.

In practical terms, this means the case can move forward to trial – at long last!

In turn, this means I must make another appeal for funds. As I understand it, everything raised so far has been spent fighting off Riley’s previous applications – whether she accepts that they were time-wasting money-drainers or not – so in real terms, I’m back at square one.

So, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

The pressure is likely to ramp up and up from now until the end.

So far, I’ve been extremely fortunate in having your support, for which I am enormously grateful.

Now we’re coming to the last lap, the home stretch, the endgame or whatever other sporting or narrative term you wish to use for it.

I’ll have a lot of things to think about over the next few months.

Please help me make sure money isn’t one of them.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Netanyahu is not in power in Israel any more. Will his long-delayed court case happen at last?

Benjamin Netanyahu: he’s out – but is he gone for good?

And just like that, he was gone.

Clearly any attempts by Benjamin Netanyahu to break up the alliance against him – if he made them – have failed.

It’s fairly easy to see why.

New Prime Minister Naftali Bennett knows the alliance put together by Yair Lapid to oust Netanyahu includes people with wildly opposing views – so he has promised that his government will not discuss the contentious stuff:

Mr Bennett has indicated his government would focus on areas where agreement was possible, like economic issues or the coronavirus pandemic, while avoiding more contentious matters.

“Nobody will have to give up their ideology,” he recently said, “but all will have to postpone the realisation of some of their dreams… We’ll focus on what can be achieved, rather than arguing about what cannot.”

It’s a reasonable position – some might even call it enlightened.

Whether it lasts has yet to be seen.

And Netanyahu is now leader of the Opposition. He’ll be trying to cause as much trouble between these allies as he can.

Meanwhile, though, we can look forward to Netanyahu’s long-awaited court case for fraud and bribery.

I hope the courts get their act together and try it as soon as possible. The longer they delay, the more likely the new government will fall apart.

For us, the question is whether the situation between Israel and Palestine will improve.

My instinct is that it may. If the new government is going to step back from contentious issues, then this suggests a reprieve from hostilities. Dare we hope that even the offensive settlement programme will be put on hold?

If Netanyahu gets back in, even the slightest let-up is over.

If the courts find him guilty, then there is the potential for further improvement.

Historically, huge disasters are caused by small groups of people. We’ve seen the human tragedy that Netanyahu has caused; let’s see what can happen now he has been removed.

Source: Netanyahu out as new Israeli government approved – BBC News

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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As Taser cop is tried for murder, Patel tells police to start ‘zapping’ criminals

She’s homicidal.

The person most likely to cause criminal deaths is the Home Secretary, it seems.

No doubt the Cabinet Office will tell us it’s all innocent and that we shouldn’t read too much into her choice of words.

But that doesn’t change the fact that, as a police officer accused of murdering a former footballer after Tasering him goes on trial, Priti Patel has told the Police Federation she wants them “going out there and actually zapping the really bad people out there”.

She was telling them to make a show of strength as the UK comes out of lockdown – to clamp down hard on potential criminal behaviour before it has a chance to emerge.

At the very least it is a shocking lapse of taste and good judgement; alternatively, it’s incitement for other police officers to kill their suspects.

Source: Priti Patel tells police to start ‘zapping’ criminals as lockdown laws ease | The Independent

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Will Palestine benefit if Netanyahu is removed as Israeli PM? Probably not

Benjamin Netanyahu: in this image he’s wearing a smile very similar to Boris Johnson’s ‘duper’s delight’. Who had he just fooled? The Israeli electorate?

Israel’s hardline, far-right prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be out of a job and heading towards prison by tomorrow (June 2).

But it’s unlikely to mean any loosening of the (metaphorical) noose that his government is tightening around the necks of every Palestinian, as it involves a coalition between the equally hardline Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. Both have previously worked with Netanyahu.

But it could signal the end of Netanyahu’s 12-year rule of Israel – and if so, it wouldn’t happen a day too soon.

The Associated Press – apparently still bruised from the bombing of its Gaza office – explains:

Netanyahu has become a polarizing figure since he was indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in late 2019. Each of the past four elections was seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s fitness to rule, and each ended in deadlock.

Netanyahu is desperate to stay in power while he is on trial. He has used his office as a stage to rally his base and lash out against police, prosecutors and the media.

It says much about the state of Israeli politics that

Netanyahu even attempted to court a small Islamist Arab party but was thwarted by a small ultranationalist party with a racist anti-Arab agenda.

What hypocrisy! Netanyahu’s anti-Arab position is evident in his policy towards Palestine, and never mind all his efforts to court favour with neighbours like Saudi Arabia.

It seems clear that – for him – retaining power is everything. Boris Johnson may well be a keen student of his politics.

If he is ejected from the premiership, he may devote his time as Opposition leader to undermining the new government by exploiting the deep ideological differences among the parties forming the coalition.

But his ability to disrupt his own trial will be hugely diminished.

It would be ironic if the first major blow against the corruption that is sweeping the political world was landed by a hard-right-winger, against someone with equally extreme views.

Source: Netanyahu could lose PM job as rivals attempt to join forces

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