Prosecution of Al-Quds Day march leader blocked by Crown Prosecution Service

Just days before court case, senior prosecutor concludes there is no 'realistic prospect of conviction'


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has halted the prosecution of the host of last year’s Al-Quds Day march, who linked the Grenfell Tower disaster to “Zionists”.

Nazim Hussein Ali was due to stand trial next week, charged with inciting racial or religious hatred over his comments at the 2017 pro-Palestinian march through central London.

Addressing the annual, notorious march - where Hezbollah flags are flown - he referred, days after the Grenfell fire, to "Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high rise blocks".

He added: "We are fed up of the Zionists. We are fed up of their rabbis. We are fed of their synagogues. We are fed up of their supporters."

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) launched a private prosecution but, on June 28, the CPS wrote to them saying there was not enough evidence for a conviction and, therefore, they were assuming control of the prosecution and stopping it.

The CAA is taking legal advice and has three months to launch a judicial review of the decision.

CAA chairman Gideon Falter called the CPS decision “pretty brutal” and “disgusting”.

A CPS spokesman told the JC a senior prosecutor "carefully considered" the case and concluded there was not "a realistic prospect of conviction".

“Therefore the evidential test for prosecution set out in the code for Crown Prosecutors was not met,” the spokesman said.

Mr Falter said: “This decision by the CPS is an appalling betrayal of British Jews, and we are now taking advice on using judicial review proceedings to force the CPS to either prosecute Mr Ali itself or let us get on with the job.

"We have called for zero tolerance enforcement of the law against antisemitism and that is what politicians have promised, but it seems that the CPS is not only abandoning British Jews, it is intent on actively intervening to block us when we stand up for ourselves."

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), of which Mr Ali is a director, claimed the decision was a “major victory for pro-Palestinian campaigners in Britain”.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “This was a witch-hunt against Mr Ali that demonstrated all the typical characteristics of the pro-Israel lobby’s tactics to undermine people’s right to defend the oppressed Palestinian people.

“We will stand by any pro-Palestinian activist who is maliciously prosecuted by CAA or its allies. This victory shows us that the pro-Israel lobby cannot use the British legal system to bully their critics into silence. Justice will prevail for the Palestinian cause.”

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