Ken Livingstone sued for defamation over terrorism support remarks

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It appears that Ken Livingstone's "foot in mouth" tendancies have resulted in yet another court case, this time for defamation:

Chavez visit to London causes lawsuit against Ken Livingstone By Aleksander Boyd

London 07.06.06 | On May 17th 2006 Ken Livingstone, Major of London, stated in front of London's Assemblywomen, Assemblymen and press present at a major's question time at City Hall "Aleksander Boyd is a supporter of terrorism against Venezuelan democracy" (sic). Livingstone saw fitting to make such spurious, unsubstantiated and wild accusation in the aftermath of Hugo Chavez's visit to London. As this was not the first time that apologists of the Venezuelan caudillo uttered such remarks against me I considered to issue legal proceedings, which have been initiated today.

I just got back from the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division where I presented a claim with the number HQ06X01639. In it I claim a) an injuction to prevent Ken Livingstone from further tarnishing my reputation by making defamatory remarks against me and b) £100.000 in damages.

[...]

Accusing someone of being a "supporter of terrorism", anywhere in the world, is now a very serious matter, as, if true, it could lead to arrest and prosecution under the controversial new Terrorism Act 2006 section 1 Encouragement of terrorism, which can lead to 7 years in prison and / or or a fine.

For the Mayor of London, speaking in his official capacity, to do so, is even more scandalous.

When is the High Court appeal against Livingstone's suspension as Mayor going to be heard ?

[thanks to www.redken.net]

15 Comments

I don't think Ken has too much to worry about. Boyd is an odious crank who does indeed call for violence against the elected government of Venezuela.

Check these out (all taken from Boyd's hate website, vcrisis:

I wish I was Genghis Khan, I wish I had eaten my half-brother… Therefore the scum of this earth a.k.a. Hugo Chavez and followers would not be willing to piss me off. Ergo they would be extremely careful of not treading on my rights. Attempts to conquer commanded by me would encounter nothing less than total submission owing to the sheer fear that my presence would cause... I wish I was Genghis Khan. I wish I was the Khan an order my hordes to capture them and pour melted silver into their eyes.

I wish I could decapitate in public plazas Lina Ron and Diosdado Cabello. I wish I could torture for the rest of his remaining existence Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel in “El Nuevo Circo.” I wish I could fly over Caracas slums throwing the dead bodies of the criminals that have destroyed my country. http://www.vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200403180748


The more the time elapses, the blunter the constitutional violations of the regime, the more I become convinced that the sole way of effectively opposing Chavez is through violence.’ (10/10/04) http://www.vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200410101107


‘Re: advocating for violence yes I have mentioned in many occasions that in my view that is the only solution left for dealing with Chavez.’ (21/3/05) http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2005/03/21/two_parties.php

‘Yesterday I had a conversation with someone about Venezuela and its problems. Given the peculiar characteristics of our crisis, my interlocutor asked “what’s the solution then?” And I replied “when elected politicians treat one as an animal, how on earth can be expected that one behaves as a gentleman? The solution in my view is clear and simple: violence.’ (2/11/04) http://www.vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200411020559

‘The other question that daunts me is, how can democracy be protected from itself? What mechanisms has the layman to simply kick out of office pariahs such as Chavez? The answer is none, and since there is no democratic mechanisms in place, violence is the only recourse left.’ (2/11/04) http://www.vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200411020559

@ The Judge - you seem to be quoting the same stuff that Ken Livingstone did about Ghengis Khan, which Alexander Boyd has already claimed was a selective quotation out of context.

Ken Livingstone's past utterances on "Troops out" of Northern Ireland, for example, have been widely understood as support for terrorists, as has his support of extremist Islamic preachers.

Whether he really means it or not is irrelevant, it is the impression he gives, not as a private citizen, but as the holder of the the office of Mayor of London, which is a disgrace.

If Alexander Boyd really is a terrorist, which seems doubtful, the very last thing that the Mayor of London should be doing is giving him the oxygen of publicity - why can't he keep his yap shut ?

Where in the job specification for Mayor of London does it state that he should waste our taxpayers money on feting a Latin American caudillo ?

What good has it done for the people of London ?

There's nothing out of context whatsoever about the quotes. Just click on the links and see for yourself.

Ken Livingstone didn't say that Boyd was a terrorist. He said that Boyd "supported terrorism". That is, I think you will agree, a critical distinction.

Livingstone addressed Boyd in those terms because Boyd was attempting to endear himself to the London Assembly by passing himself off as a victimised democrat. As you can see from his own website the truth is a little different.

I think it entirely proper that the Mayor should invite to London inspirational leaders from overseas. We live in one of the greatest cities in the world, but I think it's always useful to learn from other countries and cultures. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion that Chavez is a caudillo. But it is not a view shared by Venezuelans who keep electing him with massive majorities.

@ The Judge - what is there to find "inspirational" about Hugo Chavez ? His coups d'etat, electoral fraud, human rights abuses, corruption and personality cult ?

Just because the current US Government does not like him is no reason to support his regime.

As to the Boyd versus Livingstone case, no doubt all the arguments will be brought out in court, since Ken "foot in mouth" Livingstone tries never to apologise for anything.

Chavez hasn't committed any electoral fraud. The elections were certified "free and fair" by the Carter Centre and the OAS, who monitored them. It's only defeated right wing extremists like Boyd who are crying foul.

Even the opposition pollsters say that Chavez enjoys overwhelming popularity. Why would a guy with a 50 point lead in the polls need to commit electoral fraud?

@ The Judge - The Organisation of American States has in the past "certified" the
"elections" held by General Pinochet and by Fidel Castro, neither of whom remotely qualify as real democrats, so that is hardly a worthwhile endorsement.

All the international observers say the elections were not rigged, from Jimmy Carter to the EU. All the opinion polls (including all the opposition polls) give Chavez a massive lead. Are the opposition rigging their own opinion polls??

I'll ask the question once again: Why would a guy with a 50 point lead in the polls, need to rig an election?

@ The Judge - perhaps because that is what politicians with a large majority and a personality cult, who, like Chavez, want to become "President for Life" have done in the past e.g. like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe ?

Why is it that politicans never seem to demand shorter terms office when they are in power ?

Ken Livingstone wittered on about extending the term of the Mayor Of London, presumably on the assumption that he would be still in office in 2011, and might then be asked some awkward questions about the cost overruns and delays to the 2012 Olympic Games during the election campaign.

Yes, but the results of actual elections reflect the opinion polls! Again, why would anyone with a massive lead in the polls try to rig elections right under the noses of the international community? It makes no rational sense, and is nothing but a transparent attempt by the discredited opposition to delegitimise Venezuelan democracy in preparation for another military coup. As Alezsander Boyd says; "Violence is the solution", "Fear is the greatest weapon. Use it", "Where's our Pinochet", Infiltrate the security apparatus".

And if the Constitution is to be changed to remove term limits, that must be done by a referendum of the whole electorate. If this happened, then Chavez could stand for president as many times as he liked. And if he kept winning, that called democracy.

It looks as if Alexsander Boyd has been silenced as an online critic of Hugo Chavez and of Ken Livingstone

It seems that Ken Livingstone's use of a firm of expensive lawyers, presumably paid for by the taxpayer (or was it Hugo Chavez's petrodollars ?), against which a refugee blogger unsurprisingly does not have the financial resources to contest his case in court, and presumably to risk the expensive legal fees should he lose the court case, has contributed to the suspension of online political activity by this critic of Chavez and of Livingstone.

Censorship of political opponents is a creepy thing to watch happening.

Are we next ?

mol, bloggers are a menace, whether in London, Pyongyang, Havana, Tehran or Caracas.

Boyd has just withdrawn his frivilous lawsuit, and is now officially a supporter of terrorism against Venezuelan democracy. Boyd's activities are being investigated with a view to instigating criminal proceedings.

@ The Judge - have you got any evidence of Aleksander Boyd's support for terrorism or specific proscribed terrorist groups, rather than vague statements about political violence, which is not the same thing ?

Who in authority is conducting this supposed "criminal investigation" ?

How are you privy to such confidential information ?

Frightful! Who, pray tell,is this Judge Dredd wannabe?

I'm a dedicated Marxist with champagne tastes and a knack for cronyism, graft, and corruption, and I've made a mint unde Chavismo!!

Your position as a "political activist" for Cuba, Jamaica, and Venezuela-cum- corporate headhunter at Portman makes you the ideal for finding me a nice cusjy position in the UK agitprop-for-Chavez industry, and your petit fascist intent in persecuting Boyd confirms your pedigree.

Find a comrade a position in a nice City bank with ties to Third World corruption,eh, Tucker?

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