Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2002

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Another leaflet was entitled 'Jack Straw's Jewish Justice' and accused the then Home Secretary of acting in the service of the Jewish community and according to its guidelines.



Israel, Tuesday, September 17, 2002 Tishrei 11, 5763


Describes chain of events that led to acquittal as a serious legal blunder

Acquittal of Neo-Nazi publisher angers UK Jewish community


By Sharon Sadeh

LONDON -- The trial of two neo-Nazi activists, whose guilt seemed beyond doubt, turned into a legal fiasco and an acquittal that has angered the British Jewish community.

Anthony Hancock, one of the biggest publishers on neo-Nazi literature in Europe, and Colin Jordan, a well-known author of anti-Semitic articles, were indicted for producing and distributing hate literature.

Their trial began in 1999 after the Board of Deputies of British Jews, an umbrella organization for the Jewish community, filed a complaint about pamphlets written by Jordan and printed and distributed by Hancock. The four pamphlets contained anti-Semitic comments and insults, and the British prosecution decided to indict the two for violating the 1986 Public Order Act, which prohibits the writing and publishing of material that can incite racial hatred.

Jack Straw (right) with friend, March 2002

Members of the Jewish community were initially pleased -- the pamphlets left no doubt about the views of Jordan, who headed the neo-Nazi "British Movement" in the 1960's, and of his partner Hancock. One of the publications was a postcard that included the details of former Board of Deputies president Eldred Tabachnik and encouraged people to send him hate-mail.

Another leaflet was entitled "Jack Straw's Jewish Justice" and accused the then Home Secretary (he is now the Foreign Secretary) of acting in the service of the Jewish community and according to its guidelines.

But the Jewish community was disappointed several months ago when it was discovered that the prosecution proceedings against 77-year-old Jordan, a resident of Harrogate in northern England, were being halted due to his poor health. Jordan's lawyers persuaded the prosecution he was unfit to stand trial.

The prosecution agreed to the request to suspend proceedings and the court ruled last November that the trial would be halted providing Jordan's condition did not improve to a condition that allowed him to stand trial, or

"engage in any activity either political, social or personal, that demonstrates to the satisfaction of a court that he is able to stand trial, irrespective of his medical condition."

The prosecution proceedings against Hancock started after a August 1998 search of Jordan's home linked the publisher to alleged illegal activity. But Hancock's trial, which ended two weeks ago at the Leeds Crown Court, also caused the Jewish community great disappointment.

The prosecution changed the evidence material it had in its possession, and instead of exhibiting the four original leaflets, it presented the court with only one leaflet -- the Jack Straw leaflet -- and added another publication titled "Merry England 2000" written by Jordan. Jewish community sources said this publication hardly justified an indictment on the charge of anti-Semitic incitement.

Hancock was indicted on two charges of aiding and abetting Jordan by printing the material, but claimed in his defense that the leaflets he published were a result of a normal business alliance between him and Jordan. Hancock also denied having committed a felony. His lawyers said that there is not enough evidence regarding the Jack Straw leaflet to convict Hancock.

The judge, Norman Jones, agreed with this stand and instructed the jury to acquit Hancock. The jury also ruled that Hancock was innocent in regards to the "Merry England 2000" leaflet. A prosecution spokesman told Ha'aretz he did not know why the prosecution presented only two leaflets as evidence against Hancock that even the Jewish community did not regard as harsh.

The spokesman said the prosecution team based its considerations regarding the evidence to be used on "the chances to achieve a conviction and public interest in the trial." The prosecution does not intend to appeal the decision, the spokesman added.

The Jewish community was angered by the chain of events that led to Hancock's acquittal and described them as a serious legal blunder.

Hancock, 55, is a well-known figure in the field of neo-Nazi publishing. He lives close to Brighton and runs a printing works established by his father. In his spare time Hancock is involved in anti-Semitic activities, including the publishing of Holocaust-denial leaflets and operating Internet sites that try to rewrite Nazi history, according to a released report by the London Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

Hancock was the British publisher of one of the most prominent Holocaust- deniers, Germar Rudolf. Rudolf worked for a German chemical company and wrote a pseudo-scientific report that tried to refute the Holocaust and the existence of an established plan to annihilate the Jews in gas chambers.

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