BUT coalition of senior journalists and editors from across the political spectrum are calling on in justice secretary Dominic Raab, back proposed law to address global super-rich use of “offensive legal tactics to shut down investigations.”
More than 70 newspaper editors, publishers and media lawyers wrote to Raab on Tuesday with a demand government take urgent action to stop the oligarchs and kleptocrats from using his fortune to exploit the British courts, intimidating and silence investigative journalists with strategic lawsuits against public participation (Spanking).
Letter signed by the editor of The Guardian, the Daily Mail and The Times call on Raab will urgently take action to combat the “endemic” use of Slaps in the face, which, according to them, interfered not only with journalistic investigations, but also also “law enforcement ability promptly and effectively investigate offenses.”
The signatories called on Raab k support proposed “British anti-slapping law” and “move promptly consolidate these proposals” in charter book.
“It problem it has long been endemic in newsrooms, publishers and civil society organizations,” they wrote. “In the era of increase financial vulnerability in in news industry, everything is too simple for such an abusive legal tactics to shut down investigation and blocking accountability”.
coalition journalist who also includes editors of The Sun, Financial Times and Bloomberg have argued that recent examples of Slapps included Roman Abramovich in a lawsuit against journalist Catherine Belton. over her book “Putin’s People” and Kazakh mining company ENRC is suing journalist Tom Bergis. over his book on “dirty money”.
They said that these cases were “just the most visible manifestation of much wider problem which affected newspapers in Fleet Street and in the UK in general. media industry for many years”.
Bergis, author of The book Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Takes Over the World says: “The rich and powerful Russia to Saudi Arabia use cruelty to keep them secrets secret. They’ve been together for too long with lots of of rich and powerful Westerners had another highly effective tool for Crushing the Free Press: British Legal system. Now that we’ve realized that our courts are abusing in this is way, how Can we let this continue?”
Katherine Viner, editorin-chief of The Guardian, said: “Abuse of British legal system on powerful individuals and vested interests to intimidate journalists should be the subject of national shame. British government took it issue Seriously for in first time in generation and it model the law provides clear possibility for in government play on this is good intentions to pass legislation without delay.
Letter points out what Raab said in March when he started consultations on Spanking what government “will not tolerate Russian oligarchs and other corrupt elites abusing British courts to silence this who shine light on their offense.”
When the results of the consultation were published in July, he concluded that “type of activity defined as Slapps… out of scope parameters of ordinary judicial proceedings and pose a threat to freedom of speech and freedom of press”.
Tom Tugendhat, minister of state for safety, last week refused to accept an amendment to the economic crime a bill that would give judges power fire Slaps. Tugendhat said he agreed that the law needed to be reformed to deal with the threat. of slaps public interest in journalism, but it was inappropriate add amendment to economic crime bill. He said that the ministry of Justice worked on a piece of “anti-slap legislation” that applied to everything problem.
Susan Coutry, Deputy director of Center for Foreign Policy (CVP) and co-chair of The British Anti-Slapping Coalition said: “Two years ago the FPC research identified the UK as leading international source for legal threats against investigative journalists financial crime and corruption.
“Incessant War in Ukraine is a vivid reminder of devastation unchecked corruption can cause unfortunately all too often with UK assistance financial and legal services. The adoption of an anti-slap law in the UK will protect those who try to uncover wrongdoing. in any shape and ensure free flow of information about business of public interest necessary for any healthy democracy.”
Ministry of The justice spokesman said: “This issue is of extremely important and dealt with urgently. We intend to make legislative proposals as soon as possible”.