News Index > Sortable News 10/06 - now > December 2006
SPEAK: More Deceit and Lies Revealed

SPEAK can today reveal further information, which must surely once again call into question the professional standards of Lawson Cruttenden & Co, the legal firm whom Oxford University have chosen to represent them in their continuing attempts to criminalise and imprison two founders of SPEAK, Robert Cogswell and Mel Broughton.

The revelation that the scanned archive pages on the Arkangel news service website were in fact provided by an employee of the prosecuting firm (a solicitor working closely on the plaintiff s ongoing case against SPEAK and the current contempt proceedings), must be viewed at best as highly irregular. (The archival pages supplied by the solicitor can be seen on ).

Two years ago in November 2004, Oxford University were granted a draconian injunction that restricted the legal campaigning tactics of SPEAK. Without any salient facts to prove their allegations, the University s legal representatives relied on copious amounts of paperwork (which amounted to nothing more than hearsay, innuendo and downright lies) to secure the injunction. Much of the evidence - which alleged that Arkangel and SPEAK were involved in terrorist activities - was based on information presented to the Court by the solicitor who was at the same time passing scanned files of past Arkangel magazines to those he was accusing of being terrorists!

Given the rather unusual and slightly ambiguous picture this paints of the tactical strategy applied by the solicitor working at the firm of Lawson Cruttenden & Co in putting together their case for Oxford University, one might wonder whether a similarly unusual and ambiguous approach was used in collating and putting together the portfolio of facts about SPEAK. Under the circumstances, it would be hardly inappropriate to suggest that the case files against Cogswell and Broughton should be regarded with some scepticism.

According to a written witness statement by the solicitor to the High Court, SPEAK are involved in a campaign of: "Co-ordinated and sustained acts of violence", yet here he is handing over material to individuals in that organisation for them to use on the Arkangel website that Robert Cogswell is editor of! It does not take rocket science to figure out that if SPEAK and the Arkangel news service website were a part of this huge alleged conspiracy of violence, no solicitor worth their salt would be fuelling it further by handing over material to an organisation he believed was a mouthpiece and propagandist for the ALF. Which leaves only one answer: the solicitor in question KNOWS that the Arkangel website is not, as he alleges, part of a huge conspiracy of violence; that he KNOWS it is a bona fide news service. It is in fact currently the only one of its kind, focussing on animal rights and related stories, with editorials on current topics, interviews with celebrities and public figures, and articles by academics, among others. Of all of these features, direct action is but a small percentage, which is covered in a journalistic fashion. What this illustrates is that en route to abusing the British legal system on behalf of their clients, Oxford University, the solicitors are using lies and hyperbole in an attempt to hoodwink the Courts, so that the Courts will rule in their favour.

It should not come as a surprise to see the lengths the vivisection industry will go to in order to protect their interests. We at SPEAK hope that by revealing some of the questionable behaviours of the legal representatives of Oxford University, we have demonstrated that by extension, Oxford University s public pronouncements about the alleged activities of those who seek to put an end to vivisection may not be quite as they paint them. We hope, too, that it will show that if they are capable of embellishing the facts about their opponents, they are as capable of being more than a little sparing with the truth about their work and the suffering they inflict on animals.

In summing up, these are the two fundamental questions that arise from today s revelations: firstly, if Oxford University and its legal team, Lawson Cruttenden & Co, truly believed that both Arkangel and SPEAK are involved in "violent" and "terrorist" activity, what the hell are they doing passing information to these two organisations? The second question has to be, if they are lying to the Judges in the High Court, why should anyone believe anything they say in the future? There are any number of conclusions one could draw from their motives, but perhaps those are best drawn by the legal eagles, whose area of expertise, apparently, is the law.

To those of you who still believe that the law is sacrosanct, that institutions like Oxford University don t play dirty tricks or deceive the public to get what they want, we ask that you think again; we ask that you open your eyes, think for yourselves and stop being used as pawns in a game
of profits.


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