Friday, 9 April 2010

Racism case thrown out

In September 2008 (yes, 2008) this newsblog reported on a disturbance during a performance at the Queen's Hall by the Jerusalem Quartet. The disturbance was part of a demonstration and campaign by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Movement when demonstrators were dragged from the premises and subsequently charged by the police.

At the time it was understood they were charged with a breach of the peace but it emerged seven months later that the Fiscal was proceeding on charges of racially aggravated breach of the peace. You can find an eye witness account of the incident here.

Now Sheriff James Scott has thrown out the charges as this article in today's Times reports.

The detailed judgement may be technical (and perhaps correct) but confidence in Scottish justice is the loser. In the first place, we have yet another example of the delay which still appears to be endemic in our judicial system. Secondly, it is difficult to see the disruption of the concert (described in the article above) as anything other than a breach of the peace. I appreciate the prosecutor has a difficult decision to take in selecting which crime to libel but that is of little solace to the law abiding citizen.

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