UK – Disgust over CPS decision to drop charges against all Palestine convoy suspects

Car with megaphone at the time of the incident. Image credit: Campaign Against Antisemitism
Car with megaphone at the time of the incident. Image credit: Campaign Against Antisemitism

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped all charges against the two remaining suspects in a convoy of six cars that drove through London in May last year, blasting their horns and screaming “Fuck the Jews, rape their daughters.”

In scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of Islamic State, three individuals could be seen standing up through the sunroofs waving Palestinian flags. The six cars, emblazoned with Palestinian flags on their bonnets and back windows, are seen stopping at traffic lights before driving on in the direction of Golders Green and the North Circular. They were later filmed near Brent Cross.

Then-prime minister Boris Johnson spoke out against the “shameful racism” after footage of the incident appeared on social media.

In July charges were dropped against Asif Ali, 25, of Pringle Street, Blackburn and Adil Mota, 26, of Leamington Road, Blackburn. Now charges have also been dropped against Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif, 27, of Pringle Street, Blackburn and Jawaad Hussain, 24, of Revidge Road, Blackburn, closing the case.

Nick Price, head of the CPS’ special crime and counter terrorism division, told Jewish News: “This was a shocking incident, and we know how disappointing this decision will be for the Jewish community. Throughout this case, we have worked hard with the police to identify those filmed and the extent of their involvement.

“However, upon reviewing the evidence it has become clear we would not be able to prove to a court that one of the two charged individuals was in the car at the time of the captured footage. We could also not demonstrate that the second person had participated in the conduct to the criminal standard. We will continue to work with the Jewish community to rebuild trust. Anyone who sees hate crime should report it to police. We will prosecute all cases where there is sufficient evidence to do so.”

Mark Gardner, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, told Jewish News: “This decision will cause understandable and deserved fury throughout the Jewish community and beyond. CST put a huge amount of work into tracking the convoy on the day, identifying the cars involved and ensuring that arrests were made in real time.

“We rely on our criminal justice system to protect our community from this kind of hatred and intimidation, and the failure to do so will leave a deep scar. The CPS need to urgently explain everything they have done to try to prosecute this case and set out in detail why they feel it cannot go ahead. The Jewish community, and indeed the wider community, deserve nothing less.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The director of public prosecutions must immediately explain this decision or resign. If the CPS is incapable of bringing to justice the people who drove through London in broad daylight on camera calling for the rape of Jewish women and girls, then it has reached the absolute pinnacle of pointlessness.

“This was a crime that sent Jewish families running in fear and caused the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to demand action. Britain’s Jews are facing surging hatred and are crying out for justice. We are exploring whether we can bring a private prosecution, and we are also considering whether we could bring a judicial review against the CPS. It shames our country that our criminal justice system has yet again left Britain’s Jews to fend for themselves.”

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