Friday, May 14, 2010

Dave Osler wins Libel case against former “terrorist suspect” Johanna Kaschke

Congratulations to my fellow Labour Party blogger Dave and his legal team for yesterday's judgement by Justice Eady at the Royal Court of Justice. Kaschke is also trying to have a go at Alex Hilton and me for similar nonsense. I was unable to be there this morning since I was representing a trade union member. 

Justice Eady clearly believes (in my view) that the claimant Johanna Kaschke is a some sort of frivolous applicant and threw out her claims against Dave due to “abuse of process” (amongst other things). In lay terms I understand his judgement (see here) to mean that her substantive complaint was so minor and petty that even in the extremely unlikely situation that she was to “win” the case (after a probable 1-2 week jury trail) she would have received such very nominal damages that it would “not be worth the candle” to have heard the case. 

It is practically unheard of for libel cases to be knocked back for this reason which shows how completely daft it was in the first place.  In a nutshell Kaschke is a German born national who in her youth in the 1970's had been wrongly arrested and detained on warrant for several weeks by the German police on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities.  She was released without charge and later given compensation for wrongful detention. Despite posting this information on her own blog and being offered a full right of reply she decided to sue Dave for posting about her own admissions.

Check out the links here, here, here about the whole sorry silly tale of how a former Labour Party member who failed to be a Parliamentary candidate defected to Respect then turned to the Communist Part of Great Britain then the Communist Party of Britain then the Labour Party again and finally (for now) joined the Conservative Party - all within a few months. Who then went on to waste tens of thousands of pounds of public money by taking out multiple libel actions and court applications that were doomed to fail. There has probably by now been millions of pages of documents wasted and thousands of hours of court administration officers and officials time used up. An incredible number of different expensive direction hearings, applications and appeals. Imagine how much Royal Court of Justice Masters and Judges are paid per day and how much nonsense they had to read and listen to!

Dave is a professional journalist and has suffered the stress and uncertainty of if he was to lose this action being made bankrupt and losing his home for the past 3 years.  Check out his Partner Stroppy account of the stress and strains this has caused.

I don’t totally blame Kaschke (well maybe only 99%) since the system should have never allowed this to happen in the first place. A clearly obsessive individual with a grudge should not be allowed to use the Courts as their play thing. She has been allowed to not only waste everyone’s time and money (especially the taxpayer) but to also ruin and damage herself, when it should have been obvious to the Courts that something was clearly wrong in planet Kaschke a long, long time ago.

As a housing officer I have been to civil courts for a number of years and found that although judges tend to be very supportive of unrepresented litigants they will stand for none of the daftness that has gone on here and it can be very much "rough justice" at times.  Libel law seems to be taken far more seriously by the Court system than tenants losing their homes?  I can guess the reason why.

We need libel reform urgently.

Kaschke of course is now blaming everyone else except herself for the position she is in and is resorting to bare faced porkies. She has threatened to sue the legal blogger Jack of Kent (not a wise move since he is a top lawyer) who is now going to court to get her classed as a vexatious applicant.  She is even trying to use the good name of a sick children’s hospital charity to support her case.  Tut, tut.

As Dave said “the Tories are welcome to her”.


Jack of Kent said...

Excellent blogpost on this sorry matter. Thanks for the link.

However, I am not a specialist libel lawyer, but a general media and communications bod.

Robert Dougans is the specialist libel litigator who should take the most credit for accomplishing this stunning strike out of her entire, misconceived case. And he did so pro bono. Not bad for a Tory :-)

John Gray said...

Hi Jack

Thank you and I will update post - so there is good in everyone - even a Tory:)

vjohn82 said...

This Kaschke case was more odd than I had originally thought! Some of her blog posts are quite strange too.

I'm glad that this case worked out well for everyone in the end.

John Gray said...

Check out my favourite - "John Gray has become a fat ponze" :)

Mind you one of us did lose a lot of money in legal fees which I understand was not recovered.

vjohn82 said...

I did quite enjoy that one; 'The Freemasons and mathematical concepts' was by far my favourite on the whole blog though.

You might want to check out this blog:

Another blogger was threatened by the claimants suing me as a result of him reporting on my case. Shades of Kaschke is another blog post that MOT has run and it appears that the assertion is gaining some mileage.

Perhaps Kaschke had a sex change?

John Gray said...

the freemasons is only the number 3 top post on her blog.

Her completely disgraceful "please help charity" is No 1. (A lie and of course no one turned up)

"John Gray has become a fat ponze" is number 2

Stop press -

New rant on "Mr Gray I am a Londoner".

vjohn82 said...

"Mr Gray I am a Londoner"

Sheer brilliance. There will be a top 10 by the end of the year.