Day Two at the Royal Courts of Justice; a smaller coterie of BNP supporters outside and just the stalwarts in the court. Of the defendants only Simon Darby turned up, slipping into place half an hour after the start of proceedings. Nick Griffin is apparently out of hospital but did not come to court, much to the chagrin of the Commission who seemed disappointed that their main target is so elusive.
Today was a morning-only session and Griffin’s brief, David Reid QC, did most of the talking. Mr Reid went through the court order that Griffin & others are alleged to have ignored, showing how each clause either didn’t apply, didn’t mean what the CEHR said it meant, or had in fact been complied with.
He also said that as far as he could see the only reason that the Commission were keeping Darby and Lumby in the case was so they could hit them with costs afterwards. (Muttered conversations outside the court also seem to be along the lines of: pay up and we’ll let you off the hook.)
One of the other barristers, previously referred to as the Munchkin, also spoke (in real life Mr Lay it seems.) One might have slightly more confidence in his grip on the case if he hadn’t kept referring to the British National Party as the “G”NP. Rumpole didn’t speak at all.
Anyway after Griffin’s barrister had laid out the defence, taking all morning to belabour some of the simplest points imaginable – one just hopes his written argument was more cogent – that was it. Case done and dusted. Draft judgement will be handed down within seven days, but it will be secret, and there may have to be yet another court day before final judgement.
Without wishing to prejudice the case, it’s not looking very likely that anyone is going to jail here.