Tag Archives: trial

#PrinceAndrew to face US #sexualassault civil case. Here are the reasons

Accused and accuser: Prince Andrew (left) and Virginia Giuffre (right). She alleges that he committed sexual assault and battery against her at a time when she was still legally a child.

A judge in the United States has thrown out Prince Andrew’s attempt to have Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against him for sexual assault dismissed.

Judge Lewis Kaplan took a week to think about it, but has now “denied in all respects” the Duke of York’s motion to have the case dismissed.

A civil trial will take place later this year.

Here’s Channel 4 News to explain in more detail:

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#Colston4: #Tories plan #appeal against verdict on statue topplers

Suella Braverman: this grinning Tory twit is the Attorney General. Fear for the future of justice in the UK.

The latest Tory attack on justice will be against trial by jury, it seems.

The standard of criminal justice, under which anybody accused of a crime is judged by a jury composed of 12 people taken at random from among the general public, is accepted across the world as a paragon of fairness.

The result of the so-called “Colston 4” trial in Bristol has been taken as an example of that. The four defendants had admitted toppling the statue of slaver Edward Colston from its plinth during a demonstration in mid-2020 but, after hearing all the evidence, a jury of their peers acquitted them of criminal damage.

That should be the end of the matter.

But it seems the Tories didn’t like it so – as with the finding of corruption against now-former North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson – they want to change the rules. Here’s Attorney General Suella Braverman, showing that she has been promoted far beyond her abilities:

Confusion? There was no confusion in the Colston case. We can see this clearly because Braverman could not explain the nature of the confusion she was trying to describe. Without that, her reasoning for referring the case to Appeal Court judges falls apart.

I tend to believe the following is a more accurate interpretation of Braverman’s – or at least, Tory government, reasoning:

And Rob Baron makes a solid point, too:

Yes. With no grounds to suggest a mistrial, Braverman is attacking the judgment of an independent jury. That is not acceptable behaviour for anybody working in, or with, the justice system.

Pete Milford explains the reason:

Braverman’s announcement also attracted criticism because it highlighted Tory hypocrisy:

Braverman would be extremely ill-advised to follow through on her threat.

It would be paraded as another example of Tory corruption.

But I doubt she is intelligent enough to understand the harm she would do to her own government. I await her announcement, one way or another.

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#Colston4 NOT GUILTY of #criminaldamage to Edward #Colston statue. Is this the reason?

Over it goes: the toppling of the Colston statue, in June 2020.

A jury has cleared four people of criminal damage, despite their admission that they took the statue of Edward Colston off its plinth during a protest in 2020.

And I reckon I know why.

To remind you: on June 7 last year, during a protest march involving 10,000 Bristolians that was triggered by the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, a statue of the local slaver Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into the nearby city docks.

The statue had been hugely controversial for decades because of Colston’s history as a trafficker in human slaves. Campaigners have made many pleas to the City Council for its removal – only for them to fall on deaf ears as the sculpture remained in place.

Four people – Rhian Graham, 30, Milo Ponsford, 26, Sage Willoughby, 22, and Jake Skuse, 33 – were made to face a criminal damage trial at Bristol Crown Court for their alleged parts in what happened to the statue.

But criminal damage is a crime that can only be committed on property belonging to other people.

Bristol City Council – an organisation that exists entirely to represent the people of that city and carry out their wishes – was responsible for the statue. So did the statue, in fact, belong to the people of Bristol?

As we’ve seen, people in Bristol had been trying to get rid of it for decades because it depicts a slaver and – from all accounts – a murderer.

So the defendants may have been entirely within their rights to tear down that statue because it was theirs to tear down if they so pleased, in the absence of a response – that represented the will of the majority – from the council.

I was also glad to see that the protestations of prosecutor William Hughes QC – that the fact that Colston was a slave trader was “irrelevant” to the issues that had to be decided in the case – turned out to be, themselves, irrelevant.

The question that remains after the trial is, why didn’t Bristol City Council comply with the wishes of the vocal majority who had demanded its removal for many years previously? If that had happened, the statue would not have been present to infuriate protesters against the murder of another black man in 2020.

One more point: this is proof that ordinary people can still challenge the Establishment and win, if faced with trial by a jury of their peers and natural justice is allowed to run its course.

Source: Accused said Colston statue was ‘an abhorrent offence’ to Bristol, trial hears | Bristol | The Guardian

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#JulianAssange appeals against extradition. Will #AnneSacoolas still come to trial?

Protest: the court’s announcement on whether to extradite Julian Assange faced huge public opposition.

Lawyers acting for Julian Assange have filed an application to appeal against a High Court decision to allow him to be extradited to the United States to be tried for espionage.

High Court judges must now decide whether one of the grounds of the appeal is a point of law of general public importance, before the application may be considered by the Supreme Court.

Birnberg Pierce Solicitors, acting for Assange, say they believe serious and important issues of law arise from the High Court’s reliance on US assurances regarding the prison regimes and treatment Assange is likely to face if extradited, and from its judgment.

Assange is wanted in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

A decision on the application is unlikely to be announced before the third week in January.

This Writer is now agog to find out if the US will still surrender Anne Sacoolas, accused of killing Harry Dunn in a road collision but who then fled the UK under the protection of diplomatic immunity, to court proceedings beginning on January 18.

See. Assange’s extradition is in line with a one-sided UK-US deal whereby the UK has to surrender anybody wanted by the US, but the US doesn’t have to do likewise.

The fact that Sacoolas was suddenly offered to the UK after the High Court allowed Assange’s extradition seemed extremely suspicious to This Writer, for precisely that reason.

And now that the extradition is in doubt, I’m on tenterhooks to find out whether the Sacoolas trial will still go ahead.

(Not that I ever expected her to come to the UK to serve any sentence, if she’s found guilty. Do you?)

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After #JulianAssange extradition, #AnneSacoolas is to face UK court. Coincidence?

The late Harry Dunn: his family have been campaigning for justice ever since his death more than two years ago.

One aspect of the Julian Assange extradition case that has been well-examined is the fact that the US may demand that we hand over our people while there’s no reciprocal obligation.

That’s the reason Anne Sacoolas was given asylum in the United States after the death of Harry Dunn, who she is alleged to have killed in a road crash outside RAF Croughton on August 27, 2019 – she claimed diplomatic immunity and the US granted it.

Now, suddenly, everything has changed – and after the chief campaigner for the Dunn family had been told he had only a one per cent chance of securing a criminal trial:

The Crown Prosecution Service … sought an extradition warrant to bring her back to the UK to stand trial, but the US state department adamantly refused to grant her extradition, insisting that her status as the wife of a serving US diplomat meant she was not required to stand trial. The US confirmed she had been an intelligence officer.

The case would be heard at Westminster magistrates court on 18 January, the Crown Prosecution Service said. It is understood that she will appear via video link.

The Dunn family have always said they wanted her to face justice in the UK, and it is not clear what would happen if she was found guilty or whether she would serve a sentence or pay any fine in the US.

Was an under-the-table deal struck between the UK and the US – we give them Assange and they give us Sacoolas?

Its very hard to consider it a coincidence, what with both decisions occurring so close to each other.

I mean, people here were infuriated at the decision to extradite Assange to the US, due to a one-sided treaty with that country that doesn’t demand reciprocity. The announcement about Sacoolas gives the UK government a chance to save face.

It would be entirely in character for the UK’s corrupt Tory government to manipulate even the course of justice in order to win a public relations advantage.

Sadly, while one of those involved – Sacoolas – is likely to face justice, as This Site has reported already, it seems unlikely the other – Assange – will.

Source: Anne Sacoolas to face UK court over death of Harry Dunn | UK news | The Guardian

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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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.

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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.

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