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(en) UK "democracy" Police Federation shut down "Justice for Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign" web site

From John O <JusticeUK@appleonline.net>
Date Mon, 21 Feb 2000 16:32:47 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Miscarriages of Justice UK Tele: 0121-554-6947   Fax: 0870-055-4570
E-mail JusticeUk@appleonline.net http://www.appleonline.net/justiceuk/jus.html

Police Federation  shut down

"Justice for Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign" web site

       On Tuesday 8th February the "Portia" web site which carrys 
information on many of the miscarriages of Justice in the UK was shut 
down by the Police Federation.

      One such case on the web site was the case of Eddie Gilfoyle.

     Eddie was wrongly convicted in 1993 when it was alleged he killed 
his wife at the marital home by hanging her in the garage. Eddie's 
case has been referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal 
Cases Review Commission, a date is yet to be set.

     The Criminal Cases Review  Commission CCRC last year  found that 
Eddie's conviction is unsafe and has  recommended that the case be 
returned to The Court of Criminal Appeal.

     Eddie Gilfoyle's case was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary 
by the acclaimed "Trial and Error" documentary series.

     The Police Federation and their Solicitors are bringing a civil 
action against the documentary makers.

     Portia say they received a telephone call on Wednesday 9th 
February from "Webgenie Internet LTD" the Internet Service Provider 
(ISP) who host  the Portia web site.

      A spokesman for the "Webgenie Internet LTD" said "they had 
suspended the site  the previous day after a threatening letter from 
Russell, Jones and Walker; lawyers acting for the Police Federation. 
(trade union for the police). They had started legal  action against 
a TV company and the program "Trial and Error" which featured the 
case of Eddie Gilfoyle."

     This now makes it illegal in the UK to publicise the subject of 
this action.

     Portia were hosting the Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign's story called 
"Eddie Gilfoyle  is Innocent".

     Portia say the letter from the lawyers demanded that the "Eddie 
Gilfoyle  is Innocent" article be removed and a full  apology 
       It carried threats as to what would happen if they did not  comply.

       The spokesman for "Webgenie Internet LTD" said that they were a 
small business of just 20 people, all, along with their families were 
dependant on the income this provided. They could not fight the 
Police Federation a large, powerful organisation that had millions at 
their disposal. Although they were sympathetic he regretted that they 
had made the decision to  suspend the "Portia" site.

     The Eddie Gilfoyle family are livid and see the court action by 
the Police Federation as just another tactic to muddy the water and 
keep Eddie imprisoned.

    Why did the Police Federation not contact Portia direct all they 
needed to do was click on the contact button on the opening screen.

       The wider implications of this are that the Police Federation 
Bullies  have effectively censored - not just Eddie's case - but all 
the other miscarriage of justice cases' and organisation's linked to 
     Eddie's case can also be found on other web sites up and down the 
country. If the Police Federation carry on by censoring web sites 
which include Eddie's case, then this will have a direct affect on 
all those who are fighting for justice in the criminal system.
      The next step the Police Federation may take is to censor any 
publicity surrounding Eddie's case prior to his appeal by threatening 
legal action against the media.

     The alarming fact is that the Police Federation do not have to 
take legal action - they merely have to threaten it.

     The Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign say we must not:

*   allow the Police Federation to use this tactic to prevent us from 
publicising the injustice done to Eddie.
*    allow the Police Federation to threaten legal action if someone 
publishes something which brings into question the behaviour of the 

    That this tactic by the Police Federation brings into question the 
whole democratic process and the right to free speech and audience. 
It is the thin end of the wedge and could affect the basic civil 
rights of us all.

     It is clear that successive governments have continued to put in 
place legislation to remove our basic human rights such as the right 
to silence and stifling disclosure rules in criminal cases.

     Censoring our right to publicise our grievances against the 
police is the last straw. We must make a stand now on this important 
and potentially devastating issue.

     The Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign  are outraged by the actions of the 
Police Federation  and fully support whatever action is appropriate 
to bring this issue to the attention of the authorities and the 

     The Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign are asking everyone to support a fax 
action against the Police Federation. demanding that they withdraw 
the threat of legal action against "Webgenie Internet LTD".

Address your protests to:
Police Federation.
General Secretary
Jeff Moseley
Fax: 0181-390-2249 outside the UK 00-44-181-390-2249
Phone: 0181-399-2224  outside the UK 00-44-181-399-2224

Fax a copy of your protest to:
The Home secretary
Jack Straw
0171-273-3965 outside the UK 00-44-171-273-3965

Please e-mail a copy of anything you send to:

E-mails of support for Eddie Gilfoyle to:
In support messages please include your town and country.

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