In the wake of the acquittal of B.N.P. activists Nick Griffin and Mark Collett by a jury at Leeds crown court yesterday, the British government is
considering a raft of new tougher legislation to address racial and religious hate speech and incitement . Griffin and Collett had been tried on
existing charges of ` inciting racial hatred `, but the jury took just three hours to return verdicts of ` not guilty `.Fueling calls for change in
the law .
BNP leader Nick Griffin and party activist Mark Collett have been cleared of inciting racial hatred after a retrial at Leeds Crown Court.
Chancellor Gordon Brown has told the BBC race laws may have to be revised in light of the acquittal.
Mr Griffin and Mr Collett were charged in April 2005 after the BBC showed a secretly-filmed documentary The Secret Agent in 2004.
The party leader smiled and nodded as the foreman of the jury read out the unanimous not guilty verdict.
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The BNP is now claiming that the trial verdict vindicates them, and naturally the government is pandering to demands that they “ do something “.
With new legislation promised by Gordon Brown, the government is playing right into the BNPs hand by appearing vindictive in its calls to change the
law to ensure that future trials will return the results they desire, this is not justice. It is petty micro management.
The problem is not the law, it is how it was applied and prosecuted. The jury never heard key corroborating evidence from the defendants own lips.
That was a key failing of this case, not some imaginary ` deficiency ` in the laws.
The BNP and their race hate message have no place in UK society, but we cannot move the legal goal posts every time a jury returns a verdict that is
unpalatable, and this is exactly what is happening here.
The West Yorkshire Police warned that the prosecution was a “ win /win “ opportunity for the BNP, and predictably Griffin and his followers are
milking the fallout from the trial for all it is worth.
Justice has not been done, despite the best efforts of most involved but knee-jerk new legislation is not the answer. The BNP is already using the
not guilty verdict to demonise the BBC whose undercover documentary ` the secret agent ` was a key prosecution evidence. Claiming that the BBC
perused a “ witch hunt “ against the BNP abusing its position for political ends.
If the jury had heard such outbursts as :
……all Muslims are anti British terrorists
… none whites have no place here
The verdict may have been different .
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