Belfast Telegraph

Willie Frazer: "The longer legal row with George Galloway goes on, the more abuse I have to put up with"

Frazer is being sued by the Respect MP over a speech at a loyalist protest outside Belfast's Ulster Hall

A loyalist victims campaigner is to seek to be relieved of a High Court pledge not to repeat any allegedly defamatory comments about George Galloway on social media.

Willie Frazer plans to make a formal application to end his undertaking due to the length of time it will take to determine the Respect MP's libel action against him.

He also told a judge today that he has been subjected to threats and abuse on his way in and out of court.

Mr Galloway is suing Mr Frazer and internet giant Google for alleged defamation and harassment over a speech at a loyalist protest outside the Ulster Hall in Belfast.

The MP for Bradford West was appearing at the venue on August 23 for an event billed as Saturday Night with George Galloway.

Demonstrations against his booking centred on his earlier reference to Bradford being an Israeli free area.

Mr Galloway claims sectarian and false remarks about him at the picket constituted hate speech which significantly heightened tensions.

In legal papers the MP listed a series of allegations made about him, categorically denying them all.

A video allegedly posted on YouTube by Mr Frazer of his protest speech at the scene was viewed more than 17,000 times.

Last week he gave an assurance not to re-publish the comments on social media until the wider action is determined.

But in court today the victims' campaigner, who is representing himself, said: "I'm obviously now going to have to introduce documents to withdraw that."

He told Mr Justice Stephens that he wanted the case dealt with as quickly as possible because of threats and abuse directed at him.

"Even on the way into court and on the way out the last time there were several threats made," he claimed.

"The longer this goes on the more abuse I have to put up with."

Confirming to him that a formal application for permission to end his undertaking was required, the judge also advised him that any threats should be reported to police.

During the review hearing Mr Frazer also signaled his desire to have the action determined by a jury.

Counsel for Mr Galloway, Frank O'Donoghue QC, said it was a case of "some complexity", adding that there had been an extra 6,000 hits on the YouTube video.

"This is an important case for my client and I need to consult with him in London," the barrister added.

Mr Justice Stephens fixed the case for a trial date next April.

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