Campaign Against Antisemitism has won the first stage of its judicial review proceedings against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), after it moved to block us from privately prosecuting Nazim Ali, the leader of the annual “Al Quds Day” pro-Hizballah parade through central London in 2017.
In her decision granting Campaign Against Antisemitism permission to subject the CPS decision to judicial review, the Honourable Ms Justice Lang DBE stated that our application for judicial review raised “important issues”.
The “Al Quds Day” parade led by Mr Ali notoriously draws crowds of demonstrators who march through London in support of the terrorist organisation, which seeks the annihilation of all Jews, and carries out bombings worldwide, including two in London.
Our private prosecution centred on Mr Ali’s alleged statements over a portable public address system at last year’s parade, including:
- “Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party. Free, Free, Palestine…It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks. Free, Free, Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
- “Careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.”
Our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit attended the parade and captured extensive video evidence, which was passed to the Metropolitan Police Service; however, the CPS declined to prosecute Mr Ali last year, leaving us with no option but to launch our private prosecution, led by Jonathan Goldberg QC.
Moreover, having refused to uphold the law by prosecuting Mr Ali, in June, the CPS blocked us from doing so privately. Just days before Mr Ali was due to stand trial, the CPS used its statutory power to take over our private prosecution and then discontinue it.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s judicial review challenges that decision on the basis that it was irrational and unreasonable. We are represented by Sam Grodzinski QC, with David Sonn acting as solicitor.
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This is a case that the CPS should have prosecuted itself. Our emphatic legal advice is that their decision to prevent us from doing so was irrational, and we are encouraged that the court has agreed that our case should proceed to the second stage of this two-stage judicial review process. We hope to succeed and resume our private prosecution of Nazim Ali.”
Last week, we revealed that for over two years, the CPS has repeatedly refused to prosecute cases we reported to police involving neo-Nazis like the Pittsburgh terrorist. In one letter, the CPS told us that its decision to protect an extremist’s right to antisemitic hate speech was “a hallmark of a civilised society”.
It is important that the CPS finally begins prosecuting cases of its own accord, not simply because we force its hand through litigation.