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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ex-Red Army Faction terrorist Johanna Kaschke loses in court again!

Ex-Red Army Faction terrorist Johanna Kaschke loses in court again!


02 Mar 2011

Libel claimant Johanna Kaschke has been refused leave to appeal a decision in her libel case against bloggers Alex Hilton and John Gray.

Kaschke’s case was struck out as an abuse of process in July of last year.

The German-born blogger and political activist has said she will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights but she would be appealing against the UK government and not the defendants directly.

She sued for libel over a blog post about her past political activities written by John Gray on Labour Home, a grassroots site edited by Alex Hilton.

Today’s decision marks the end of a four year battle, John Gray told Index on Censorship. The case had highlighted how “ludicrous” libel laws were, he said.

Gray’s main gripe is with the high costs and lengthy process involved in striking out a case. Had it not been for the pro bono support of his solicitor advocate Robert Dougans he would not have had legal representation, he said.

Paid legal support “wasn’t an option”, he said: “There’s no way that anyone on a middling income can afford a barrister.”

“What happened to me, Dave and Alex was sheer bad luck in one way but it was an accident waiting to happen to anyone who blogs.”

Gray said that he continues to support the campaign for libel reform, led by Index on Censorship, Sense About Science and English Pen, and believes that claims could be dealt with in the small claims court, reducing costs.

Alex Hilton agreed: “The expense in defending this case has been enormous and I personally will never recoup the money or time that I have lost. I often felt like caving in to Kaschke’s financial demands, just to end the case, and I’m certain that innocent defendants pay up every day rather than face litigants the like of Johanna Kaschke.

“The courts need an early stage logic check, something transparent like an appearance before a judge, whereby cases can be discarded if they are clearly nonsense,” he said.

In July 2010, following the High Court’s strike out decision, lawyer Robert Dougans, who also acted for Alex Hilton, said:

“This decision is good news for bloggers. The judge’s decision to strike out the claim on the grounds that the claimant was likely to achieve minimal if any damages shows that the court will take a firm line against claimants whose reputation has essentially suffered no damage.

“However, it took three years and a lot of money to get to this stage. This is not the fault of the courts, it is the fault of the law. Until we have a proper public interest defence, these cases can still cause a great deal of aggravation to bloggers and writers.”

Kaschke’s case against another blogger, David Osler (pictured right), was also struck out last year, and she was refused leave to appeal in September 2010. Speaking at that time, Dougans, who also acted for Osler, said:

“If Mr Gray and Mr Osler hadn’t written the balanced sensible articles they did both Mr Justice Eady and Mr Justice Stadlen were very clear that it would have been a different story [and] these cases wouldn’t have been struck out and they would be looking towards an expensive trial and probably an expensive verdict.”

Dougans said that bloggers needed be careful about how a reasonable person would interpret their words. “If you’re just reporting allegations – and it is possible to report allegations, but don’t adopt them as true … Mr Osler could have written a far more sensational article, but had he done so he would have been a good few thousand pounds poorer.”


Johanna Kaschke said...

I have come across your posting today and noticed that you are not heeding the advice of Robert Dougans, that "bloggers needed to be careful about how a reasonable person would interpret their words". You obviously have no intention to be careful and write a totally false title over your post describing me as "Ex Red-Army Faction terrorist". That is so totally false and you know it is false, but you also know that I have no more money to file any more cases in court. But I blame the ruling of the court that people like you can publish further nonsense like this about me. Please take it off or re-word your titled. The court rulings made it more than clear that I never had been a terrorist nor a terrorist sympathise. I shall take this to the nearest police station and file a complaint against you as this is the cheapest option and you are obviously stating falsities maliciously.

Johanna Kaschke said...

I shall make a complaint to the police about the title of your blog "Ex Red-Army Faction Terrorist Johanna Kaschke". It is a malicious falsehood and you know it is because the judgments throughout the case have well established that I never was a terrorist nor a terrorist sympathiser.

jailhouselawyer said...

Basically, you are denying being a blow up doll?