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Boris Johnson begins his fight to block private prosecution

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The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson will begin his court fight on Friday against a private prosecution, where it is claimed he lied to the public during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

Campaigner Marcus Ball is trying to have Johnson prosecuted for misconduct in a public office, as he claims Johnson lied as Johnson said the EU receives £350m a week from the UK.

It is expected that Johnson’s legal team will argue the summons to Westminster Magistrate’s Court that was issued by District Judge Coleman was unlawful.

Previously Ball said, “Democracy demands responsible and honest leadership from those in public office.

“The conduct of the proposed defendant Boris Johnson was both irresponsible and dishonest.

“It was, we say, criminal.”

Campaigner Ball crowdfunded the case raising £300,000 for the case, and Johnson’s representatives have called this a “stunt” that is only being “brought for political reasons.”

However, Ball said, “The UK has never sent, given or provided £350m a week to Europe, that statement is simply not ambiguous.”

Judge Coleman said on 29 May in a written decision, “The allegations which have been made are unproven accusations and I do not make any findings of fact.

“Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted. The charges are indictable only.

“This means the proposed defendant will be required to attend this court for a preliminary hearing, and the case will then be sent to the Crown Court for trial.

“The charges can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.”

Johnson’s lawyer Adrian Darbishire said in court last month that Johnson denies any wrong doing.

However, Judge Coleman has said there is “ample evidence” against the Tory contender as he knew his statement was false.

The Judge added, “One example is given that in a televised interview in May 2016, the proposed defendant stated, ‘we send the EU £10bn per year’, and that therefore he knew that the £350m per week figure was incorrect.”




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