An anti-Semitism charity in the UK has launched judicial review proceedings against the Crown Prosecution Service after it intervened to stop the organiser of the annual Al-Quds Day Rally facing a judge.
Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) issued court proceedings against the national prosecuting agency after the CPS derailed CAA’s own private prosecution of Nazim Ali, itself brought after the CPS decided not to prosecute him.
Ali, a director of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, was due to face magistrates in Westminster until the CPS used its statutory power to intervene and discontinue the private prosecution, a decision CAA described as “irrational”.
CAA has alleges that Ali made anti-Semitic statements during the pro-Palestinian rally, including a suggestion that “Zionists” were in part responsible for the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Those comments were described as “grotesque” by the Community Security Trust.
Ali, who was not arrested, says he has faced death threats from Israel’s supporters in the UK, and that he is considering suing Jewish newspapers for describing him as a hate preacher.
However, in the latest twist, CAA said it was now challenging that CPS decision “on the basis that it was irrational and unreasonable,” with QC Sam Grodzinski representing.
“This is a case that the CPS should have prosecuted itself,” said CAA chair Gideon Falter. “Our empathic legal advice is that their decision to prevent us from doing so was irrational. We hope to succeed and resume the prosecution.”
In response to the CAA’s decision to pursue a judicial review, a CPS spokesman said: “We will be opposing the application.”
He added: “The CPS stopped the case after a senior prosecutor carefully reviewed all the available evidence and considered legal representations from the CAA and the suspect.
“After applying the relevant law we concluded there was no realistic prospect of conviction and therefore the evidential test for prosecution set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors was not met.”