In a High Court ruling this week, Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) lost a judicial review attempting to force the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to prosecute a pro-Palestinian leader, Nazim Ali, for a speech given by Ali after the Grenfell Tower fire. Possibly a determining factor in the outcome of my appeal next month, the full ruling can be read here.
At Monday’s Southwark Crown Court hearing for mention and fix for my Appeal, the listing clerk apologetically explained that she had requested the presence of two magistrates for the scheduled December dates as early as September 30th. She was notified only late afternoon Friday that none were available.
The Court eventually did however manage to find enough jurors for the Legal Argument part of my Appeal to go ahead by having surplus jurors sent over from the Old Bailey. Mid-morning, I was contacted by my barrister who said that the Legal Arguments might proceed if I was still able to attend.
For reasons yet unknown, the Appeal in the Alison Chabloz case due to start on Monday at Southwark Crown Court in London has been adjourned. At best, an outrageous example of listing malpractice on the part of the listing clerk and, at worst, a breach of Criminal Procedure Rules. What this now implies for the continuation of Chabloz’ Suspended Sentence also remains uncertain.
Chabloz was convicted last May under the notorious S. 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for sending and for causing to be sent “grossly offensive” messages consisting of three songs uploaded to the Internet. Militant pro-Israel group Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) had originally initiated a private prosecution after police and the CPS failed to take action against Chabloz.
Chabloz’ songs break the taboo of matters ‘Holocaust’. Herself a victim of harassment by persons closely associated with CAA including one of its directors, Chabloz explained during cross-examination that her songs were composed in reaction to this targeting of her professional and social life, in particular after police and authorities had dismissed Chabloz’ own complaints. Chabloz’ interest in Holocaust revisionism came about as a result of her support for the pro-Palestinian cause and condemnation of Israel. Last month on Remembrance Day, Chabloz laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall in honour of the 784 members of the British Armed Forces who lost their lives during the Palestine Campaign 1945-1948.
Against all odds and despite constant unwarranted attacks, Alison Chabloz is recognised and appreciated beyond Britain. A professionally-trained musician, she was recently nominated to the role of Cultural and Artistic Liaison for the UK & Europe on behalf of the American Freedom Party.
The Appeal will be re-listed on Monday for dates some time in the New Year.
“Thanks to their creations, artists enable the layman to see things that would appear intolerable under the plain, naked light of day. The Artist tells us things about the world that can only be told by way of Art. That is why artistic freedom is sacred and without artistic freedom we are unable to find meaning in our own history and indeed in our own lives. Art is part of our western tradition and it’s exceedingly worrying that artists are being prosecuted and convicted for their work.”
~ Damien Viguier, barrister.
With grateful thanks to the London Regional Press Office.
As the old saying goes, my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Tony Greenstein is something of a loose canon when it comes to talking about Jewish-ness and Zionism. Hated by my accusers, Greenstein’s petition to have Campaign Against Antisemitism investigated by the Charity Commission was quite a coup, although Greenstein himself was expelled from the Labour Party for – wait for it – “anti-Semitism”.
Greenstein’s latest post condemns my conviction on grounds of wishing to protect freedom of speech, at the same time covering his own back with the old obligatory mental health smear. The first of two notable quotations:
In my view Chabloz should not have been convicted. I also take the view of Raul Hilberg the most distinguished of all Holocaust historians that even holocaust deniers make us question our knowledge of the Holocaust.
Upcoming court dates for my Appeal against conviction and sentencing are scheduled for three days starting December 10th at Southwark Crown Court in central London. My solicitor informs of the possibility that the court may have other urgent business and therefore might have to postpone. I shall keep you updated.
In other news, I was honoured to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London last Sunday November 11 in remembrance of the 784 members of the British Armed Forces who lost their lives during the peacekeeping mission to Palestine 1945-1948. Click here to see photos and a short video of the speeches given by Richard Edmonds, Tony Martin, Jordan Pont and myself at the rally afterwards. Many thanks to National Front Chairman and Deputy Chairman for organising the traditional Remembrance Day parade and allowing me to participate.
According to the British Sentencing Council’s definitive guidelines on the imposition of custodial sentences:
• A custodial sentence must not be imposed unless the offence or the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it was so serious that neither a fine alone nor a community sentence can be justified for the offence.
Furthermore, the Criminal Justice Act 2003, part 12, chapter 3, para. 9 (5), states:
Before making a suspended sentence order imposing two or more different requirements falling within subsection (1) [mine has no less that five], the court must consider whether, in the circumstances of the case, the requirements are compatible with each other.
And again quoting from the above guidelines:
• A suspended sentence MUST NOT be imposed as a more severe form of community order. A suspended sentence is a custodial sentence. Sentencers should be clear that they would impose an immediate custodial sentence if the power to suspend were not available. If not, a non-custodial sentence should be imposed.
At my conviction last May, District Judge John Zani was fairly precise in his indication that my offences were serious enough to warrant custody. My musical malice had “on the face of it”, passed the custody threshold and therefore I was facing a spell behind bars or – as it turned out – a custodial punishment in the form of a Suspended Sentence Order including slave labour plus four other requirements.
Are these requirements compatible? Not really. Forced labour plus a 12-month social media ban plus a fine prevent me from earning a crust. The strangest part of my order is the 20-day “Rehabilitation Requirement Activity” (RAR). Let me explain.
For the fifth time in 12 months, I walked free from court again yesterday – this time in a breach trial brought against me by the National Probation Service (NPS) for refusing to comply with the slave labour part of my Suspended Sentence Order.
First off, a brief explanation is necessary regards the difference between a Community Order (CO) and a Suspended Sentence Order (SSO). As one District Judge commented in a research paper published in 2008:
‘Well, prison is an ever-present part of one isn’t it [the SSO], but not of the other, and that’s the difference in a nutshell. There’s a real threat. As I see it, a Community Order is – look, we’re trying to help you – and anything to do with imprisonment is – look, we’re trying to threaten you.’