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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Protestor accuses judge of 'bias'
Brian Haw outside the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court
The judge dismissed the case when Mr Haw refused to sit down
A judge dismissed a case brought by an anti-war protestor when he disrupted the proceedings, accusing him of 'bias and prejudice'.

Brian Haw, who has held a vigil in Parliament Square against the Iraq war since 2001, demanded police return banners and placards that they seized.

A metal container, which included pieces by graffiti artist Banksy, were taken during a morning raid last May.

He refused to let the judge at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court proceed.

Police spent 111,000 on the crackdown and said Mr Haw's property would be returned if he does not display it at Parliament Square.

Mr Haw won a legal battle to remain in place due to a drafting error in a new law banning unauthorised protests in Westminster but was ordered to restrict his banners and placard display to three metres.

No 'fair hearing'

As soon as the case was called Mr Haw refused to let Judge Nicholas Evans preside over the case and accused him of allowing officers to "violently assault" him and another campaigner, Barbara Tucker, at an earlier hearing.

"District Judge Nicholas Evans, recuse yourself because the last time we met each other you had me violently assaulted... we were led down to the cells on your orders, sir, and you are not appropriate to hear the case."

Judge Nicholas Evans said: "There is not much point in me putting this off to somebody else if, for the reasons set out in this document, you are not going to succeed."

To which the campaigner responded: "Bias and prejudice, sir, please recuse yourself - we can't get a fair hearing."

When Mr Haw repeatedly refused to sit down the judge dismissed the case.

The protestor retorted: "It [the case] is not dismissed, you are dismissed."

Ms Tucker, who was also present in court, and Mr Haw demanded an officer present in court be arrested for 'assaulting' them on the judge's order.




SEE ALSO
Protester raid cost police 111k
13 Jul 07 |  London

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