Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Cunning Plan

The Council Tax martyrs have reminded me of an oddity from a long time ago. A young nurse died in Saudi Arabia in odd circumstances. Her father, a retired detective, was convinced that a particular person had murdered her but was inhibited from saying so by the fear of being sued for libel.

To get round this he stopped paying his rates (the precursor of Council Tax) and was duly summoned before the magistrates. In the courtroom, which was filled with reporters he had tipped off, he made all of his allegations knowing that court proceedings are privileged, and that he was thus safe from being sued. The reporters could then publish what he had said.

He was probably pushing his luck when it comes to contempt, but he got what he wanted anyway.

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