Criminal prosecution team notify Boris Johnson of impending action for the alleged offence of misconduct in public office.
On Saturday 17th November, Boris Johnson MP was notified of private prosecutor Marcus J Ball’s intention to bring a private prosecution case against him. The case is in accordance with section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985, for the alleged offence of misconduct in public office.
Mr Ball has instructed Bankside Commercial to bring on his behalf, the private prosecution against Mr Johnson MP.
Bankside Commercial has retained the services of three barristers from Church Court Chambers: Mr Lewis Power QC, Colin Witcher and Anthony Eskander.
The alleged offence of misconduct in public office arises from statements made and or endorsed by Boris Johnson MP in his capacity as an MP and Mayor of London prior to and following the EU Referendum concerning the cost of EU Membership. Mr Ball alleges that the claim that the UK ‘sends £350 million a week to the EU’ was knowingly false.
Also, that Mr Johnson made or endorsed these statements with the intention of persuading the British Public to vote Leave in the EU Referendum.
Mr Johnson MP has been invited to comment.
Lewis Power QC has made plain that the legal team are ‘duty bound not to comment upon the guilt or innocence of Mr Johnson as this is a decision that can only be made within a court of law’ .
Giles Bright, lead solicitor on the case, stated his agreement with Mr Power QC’s comments and added that: ‘…our role as solicitors for Mr Ball, is to consider a set of facts and assess whether they constitute behaviour that ought to be put before a criminal court to consider. The prosecution team instructed are expert criminal lawyers who have experience of complex cases covering war crimes, terrorism, murder, judicial review and serious fraud prosecutions to name a few’.
When asked if the case was an attempt to stop Brexit Mr Ball said that: ‘This is about stopping lying in politics; this is not about stopping Brexit, the courts do not have the power to do that. We do need to stop politicians from lying in any future referendums though. The motivation for this prosecution is a desire to bring a beginning to the end of lying in politics’.
The private prosecution case has been crowdfunded by over 7000 people across four separate crowdfunds since it first began in June 2016.
Mr Ball invites all potential backers to read the information presented on his Crowdfund page. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/brexitjusticeprosecution
Mr Power QC reiterated that ‘Mr Johnson is innocent unless proven guilty within a court of law. The rule of law requires the public and the press to remember this when publishing any comments concerning this case’.
The team awaits comment from Mr Johnson’s lawyers and plan to advance the prosecution with a laying of an information at the Magistrate’s Court at the start of the new year.