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Richard D. Hall – A Travesty of Justice

UK independent journalist, researcher and documentary filmmaker Richard D.

Richard D. Hall – A Travesty of Justice

Hall faces conviction, sizeable damages and an injunction that could potentially end his career and his livelihood. The High Court of Justice has denied Hall the opportunity to present any kind of meaningful defence. This travesty of justice has potential implication, not just for Richard D. Hall, but for all journalists who dare to question power.

Hall was attempting to defend himself against a civil claim for harassment brought against him by two of the reported survivors of the alleged Manchester Arena bombing. The claimants’ original claim stated:

The Claimants seek damages, an injunction and other remedies against the Defendant [Richard D. Hall] under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, the Data Protection Act 2018 and in misuse of private information. The Claimants’ claims are based upon conduct by the Defendant, including publication by him, related to the Claimants’ status as victims of the bombing of Manchester Arena in May 2017.

Richard D. Hall submitted his Defence. As the claimants’ claim averred that Hall’s publication of his Manchester Arena Bombing investigation constituted harassment, Hall cited Section 1(3)(c) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 [PfH 97] which states that a claim of harassment cannot be upheld if the defendant can show “that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable.”

Further, Hall cited PfH 97 1(3)(a) which states that a claim for harassment cannot stand if the defendant’s course of action was “pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime.”

Hall noted it was an offence under Section 35 (2) and/or (3) of the Inquiries Act 2005 to distort or otherwise alter any evidence presented to an inquiry, prevent evidence from being submitted to an inquiry or intentionally suppress or conceal evidence or documents that should reasonably be made available to an inquiry.

Therefore, Hall’s defence was quite straightforward.

As the claimants’ claim was based almost entirely upon his published work on the reported Manchester Arena bombing, under Section 1(3)(c) of PfH 97, Hall’s defence argument contended that, by conducting investigative journalism, his “course of conduct was reasonable.” He also offered a defence, under Section 1(3)(a) of PfH 97, that his investigative work was “pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime.”

In order to demonstrate this, Hall intended to reveal his Manchester Arena evidence to the Court. This would show that his investigative journalism was, indeed, “reasonable” and that his research was conducted for the legitimate journalistic purpose of “preventing or detecting crime.” If proven to the Court’s satisfaction, the claimant’s claim of harassment would necessarily be denied.

Subsequently, on the 9th November 2023 the claimants legal team applied to the High Court of Justice for a “summary judgment.” They were seeking a High Court of Justice ruling to strike out Richard D. Hall’s defence in its entirety.

Such a ruling would enable the High Court of Justice to “dispose of all or part of a case without a trial.” The application for the “summary judgment” was based upon the claimants’ claim that Richard D. Hall’s defence had “no real prospect of success.”

On the 29th of January, in the High Court of Justice, Richard D. Hall offered a brief outline of the evidence he investigated and reported to the public. He argued that the Court could not rule on the harassment claim unless it considered all of evidence pertaining to the Manchester Arena bombing.

Essentially, Hall offered the evidence he had uncovered to prove he was an investigative journalist acting reasonably and endeavouring to expose a crime. He contended that this evidence, once submitted to the Court, would give him every “prospect of success” in denying the claimants’ harassment claim.

Subsequent to the hearing on the 29th of January, High Court of Justice Master Davison issued his ruling on the 8th of February. Davison identified “the Issues” which were disputed by Hall:

  • i) On 22 May 2017 22 innocent people were murdered in a bomb explosion carried out by a terrorist at the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of a concert performed by Ariana Grande;
  • ii) The Claimants were present at the Manchester Arena at the time of the bombing;
  • iii) They were severely injured rendering Martin Hibbert [claimant] paralysed from the waist down and Eve Hibbert [claimant] brain damaged; and
  • iv) The cause of these injuries was the explosion of the bomb.

On all of “the Issues” the High Court of Justice denied Hall the opportunity to present his evidence. Master Davison ruled all of it inadmissible and worthless prior to examining it in any detail. Master Davison ultimately determined:

I find that the Defendant [Richard D. Hall] has not discharged the evidential burden which rests on him. He has no real prospect, indeed no prospect at all, of success on the Issues and I will resolve them in the claimants’ favour. [. . .] I will list the case for a further hearing to decide consequential orders, costs and directions to take the claim forward to a final determination.

The trial is now virtually a fait accompli for the claimants. Richard D. Hall cannot mount any kind of substantial defence. The only remaining matter is to settle damages and define the terms of the likely injunction.

Richard D. Hall has been summarily judged without a trial by the British High Court of Justice. He could consequently lose his livelihood and be effectively barred from working as an investigative journalist.

Master Davison has ruled on the law, not on morality or on the crucial social requisite for justice. That such matters are for society to decide, not the judicial system, was emphasised by Judge Nicholas Lorraine-Smith during the appalling prosecution of David Noakes. Lorraine-Smith stated that the court was not a court of morality but rather a court of law.

For obvious reasons, in this litigious environment, I have to stress that I am not legally qualified to make any kind of criticism of the legal arguments presented in Master Davison’s judgment and I make none. Nonetheless, if the “rule of law” is to mean anything at all, the wider, social issues of fairness and justice matter. That is the sole purview of this article. Excerpts from the ruling are cited only to explain the wider, social implications of the summary judgment.

As a society, we cannot passively allow a legal system to persist if it is neither fair nor just and exists solely to protect and serve the government and other powerful interests. While Davison applied the letter of the law, his ruling, for all important social purposes, ultimately denied justice and simply protected a highly questionable government narrative that Richard D. Hall has exposed with an overwhelming body of evidence.

This is not for one moment to suggest that Hall’s own findings and expressed opinions are beyond dispute. But, on the whole, he has provided more than enough evidence to cast significant doubt upon the official state narrative of the Manchester Arena bombing. It is incumbent upon us to consider that evidence.

Probably, like most people, Master Davison doesn’t know much about false flag terrorism. Perhaps he is unaware that government sponsored false flag terrorism is a historical fact and a relatively common occurrence. There is nothing implausible about suspecting that the Manchester Arena bombing was yet another State run false flag operation.

To imagine that the mere suspicion is “preposterous” is simply to be ignorant of history. Davison seemingly demonstrated his ignorance when he said:

I have already referred to the inherent implausibility of the Defendant’s “staged attack” hypothesis. Whilst acknowledging that issues as to the claimants’ presence at the attack and the attack itself are separate and distinct, once the defendant’s general hypothesis has been rejected (as I have rejected it) it is unrealistic to maintain that the claimants were not there and were either not severely injured at all or acquired their injuries earlier and by a different mechanism than the bombing. Indeed, the latter points are simply preposterous.

This goes to the crux of the dismissal of Hall’s defence. If his “staged attack”—false flag—hypothesis is proven then all victim accounts, including the claimants, are doubtful. Consequently their harassment claim would likely be denied. By ruling that Hall’s evidence could not possibly prove his hypothesis, that evidence need not be examined. Consequently, unable to offer virtually any evidence in his own defence, Hall had no feasible way to contest “the Issues” and little to no chance of denying the claimants’ claims.

Davison’s ruling relied upon other judicial findings. This is quite normal and perfectly appropriate in our legal system. But that doesn’t make it reasonable or just from a social perspective.

Davison cited the case of Hashem Abedi—the brother of the reported Manchester suicide bomber—as proof that “22 innocent people were murdered in a bomb explosion carried out by a terrorist at the Manchester Arena.” In light of the Hashem Abedi ruling, Davison felt confident to state:

[. . .] although his [Richard D. Hall’s] beliefs may be genuinely held, his theory that the Manchester bombing was an operation staged by government agencies in which no one was genuinely killed or injured is absurd and fantastical.

It is reasonable to question the veracity of Hashem Abedi’s conviction. This was another passage of British justice, and another associated with the Manchester Arena event, in which no defence was heard in the court. While this doesn’t necessarily undermine the ruling, once again we are asked to accept a verdict based solely on the evidence offered by the prosecution, absent any defence argumentation at all.

As Davison seemingly knows nothing about false flag terrorism, presumably he is also unfamiliar with the multinational companies, such as the UK based CrisisCast, who provide crisis actors to governments and other clients to simulate crisis events. Staged terrorist attacks are commonly practiced.

For example, almost a year to the day before the Manchester Arena event, a major terror attack was staged at the Manchester Old Trafford shopping centre. The media reported:

A mock terrorist attack has been carried out at one of the UK’s busiest shopping centres, in a marauding assault similar to the Paris and Brussels atrocities. More than 800 volunteers took part in the staged attack at the Trafford Centre in Manchester on Monday night. As part of the drill a fake suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in a packed food court at the shopping centre.

Pretty much the entire UK “mainstream media”—or legacy media—has reported on the ruling in Hall’s case. They have each run more or less the same story, highlighting Davison’s “absurd and fantastical” comments and calling Hall a ” conspiracy theorist,”  a troll, “Britain’s sickest man,” etc. The Metro homed in on another comment made by Davison:

He [Davison] added it was ‘fanciful’ to suggest Abedi did not die and ‘still more fanciful’ to argue the bomber was an intelligence asset.

It seems that Davison doesn’t know anything about Western governments’, and their intelligence agencies’, long history of manipulating and supporting Islamist extremist groups either. We can only assume he is equally unaware of the 2003 Overview and Recommendations Report of the Stevens Inquiries into possible British government collusion with loyalist terrorists in Northern Ireland.

Stevens concluded:

[. . .] there was collusion in both murders and the circumstances surrounding them. Collusion is evidenced in many ways. This ranges from the wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and evidence, through to the extreme of agents being involved in murder. [. . .] The unlawful involvement of agents in murder implies that the security forces sanction killings. [. . .] Informants and agents were allowed to operate without effective control and to participate in terrorist crimes.

Evidently UK intelligence agencies have colluded with terrorists, and some of those terrorists are, or have been, assets. To claim that Hall’s hypothesis was “fanciful” was contrary to all the salient historical facts and evidence.

While no one can expect a High Court Master to be an expert on everything, perhaps Davison would have been better advised to refrain from making so many unfounded pejorative comments with regard to Hall’s investigative work. They were unnecessary and simply revealed Davison’s unenlightened opinions.

From a historical perspective, Davison’s claims that Hall’s “hypothesis” were “implausible” and “absurd and fantastical” were all unreservedly wrong. The only way to know if Halls’ evidence based opinions about Manchester are accurate is to examine the evidence he has presented.

Hall’s evidence will not be examined in the High Court of Justice. We have a “summary judgment” instead and almost the entire legacy media is steering us toward accepting it without question, largely by highlighting Davison’s ill-informed views and subjecting Hall to a stream of puerile personal attacks.

Richard D. Hall has thoroughly investigated, catalogued and examined the evidence surrounding the Manchester Arena attack. He has gone much further and delved far deeper into that evidence than any other journalist.

He has published a book of his findings and broadcast numerous videos on the subject. Hall signs off from his videos by advising his audience to “believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.” He never asks his audience to simply “believe” what he says and consistently encourages them to examine the evidence themselves.

Virtually none of the evidence Hall has uncovered was included in the Manchester Arena “Saunders Inquiry.” Despite numerous articles written and news pieces broadcast about him, accusing him of all manner of abuses and failings, not one of them has reported any of the evidence Hall has unearthed.

None of us, including High Court Masters, can possibly know if Hall is correct, or not, unless we examine that evidence. Court rulings denying that possibility should not deter anyone from seeking the truth. We, the people, have every right to question the pronouncements of the government and its compliant “mainstream media.”

So let’s look at just one, tiny scrap of evidence—among the reams Hall has reported—that casts significant doubt on the official account of the Manchester Arena event.

One of the reported victims, Ruth Murrell, whose friend Michelle was among those who reportedly died in the blast, had a bolt blown through her right thigh by the bomb. She sustained “serious injuries,” according to mainstream media reports.

Ruth is one of the best known victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, and her story was widely reported. Following her serious injury and the trauma she suffered, Ruth met the Queen at Manchester Royal Infirmary who was said to have been almost moved to tears by the harrowing account she heard from Ruth Murrell.

Here is a video of Ruth walking around, just 4 minutes after the devastating Manchester Arena explosion. The video shows the City Room, which is the precise location in the Arena where the bomb was detonated just moments earlier, reportedly killing 22 people and injuring more than 1,000.

You can see people stood around, amiably chatting, and virtually no sign of any notable emergency response or, indeed, conspicuous activity. You will also note the complete lack of any sign of structural damage or building debris. Without wishing to dwell on the gory details that you might reasonably expect to see in the immediate aftermath of a massive bomb blast, this video is not consistent with a bombing that blew the bomber to pieces, killed 22 and injured hundreds just a few minutes earlier.

Reportedly, Ruth had just lost her friend who was standing right next to her when she died instantly from head wounds inflicted by blast shrapnel. Ruth’s daughter was also lying somewhere off-camera, having also sustained “serious injuries” similar to Ruth’s.

As you can see, the “serious injury” didn’t give Ruth cause to limp. She does not show any signs of either physical or emotional distress following the horror she has just experienced. Only 4 minutes after a bolt from a bomb blast reportedly punctured her right thigh, passed through her leg and caused massive tissue damage and blood loss, Ruth was strolling around seemingly unaffected. Nor did the bolt seemingly make any kind of entry or exit hole in her jeans.

Quite obviously, the video utterly contradicts the widely reported photographic “evidence” of the injuries reportedly sustained by Ruth Murrell in the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist bombing. This evidence alone, reported by investigative journalist Richard D. Hall, is sufficient to cast immense doubt on the official narrative and it requires explanation. In light of this evidence, given Ruth Murrell’s published “story,” it isn’t unreasonable to question if any aspect of the reported Manchester Arena bombing is true.

As revealed through Hall’s investigative journalism, this video was shot on the phone of John Barr. Like any good journalist unafraid to question power, Hall contacted Mr Barr and asked for an interview. Mr Barr agreed and Hall published the interview in his book “the Night of the Bang” which you can download for free from his website.

Hall asked Barr when the footage was shot. Barr reportedly said:

That was around err …after the explosion erm… probably about 2 or 3 minutes after the explosion. [. . .] the explosion was about erm …10.32 so that was probably about 4 minutes after that.

According to Mr Barr, this footage (above) was taken from a video shot at the scene of a large-scale deadly terrorist attack, less than 4 minutes after it had occurred. Despite evidently being a key witness in possession of vital video evidence, Mr Barr was not invited to provide testimony to the official inquiry, and his video evidence was excluded from the proceedings.

In his summary judgment, Master Davison frequently cited the Saunders Inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing as evidence substantiating the claimants’ account. The fact that Barr’s video, which was published on social media, was not included in that inquiry, suggests the possibility that it was “intentionally suppressed.” This would potentially constitute a State crime under Section 35 (2) and/or (3) of the Inquiries Act 2005.

At the very least, the absence of the Barr footage from the Saunders Inquiry indicates that the inquiry did not examine all the available evidence. If so, we might reasonably conclude that the Saunders Inquiry findings were tantamount to meaningless. That virtually none of evidence revealed by Hall was examined by Saunders only adds to suspicion that the so-called inquiry had a predetermined outcome.

Master Davison was satisfied with the totality of the evidence considered at the Saunders Inquiry. Claims made by the claimants, along with some ticket receipts entered into evidence by the claimants, were sufficient for Davison to conclude that the claimants were at the Arena on the night in question.

This was clarified in his summary judgment:

In relation to their presence at the Arena, the Claimants have provided a witness statement from the first Claimant, Martin Hibbert, that confirms that they were, indeed, there. [. . .] Mr Terry Wilcox, a solicitor who was instructed on behalf of two victims’ families, and who was able to review the CCTV footage on terms of strict confidentiality (because the footage was too graphic for public release) has provided a witness statement in which he confirms from the CCTV that Martin and Eve Hibbert were both present at the Arena on 22 May 2017 and were observed both before and after the detonation of the explosive device.

To be clear: only heavily redacted still images were presented at the Saunders Inquiry. Richard D. Hall has examined every single one one of those images and reports that the claimants cannot be identified in any of them. None of the CCTV video footage or images featuring the claimants was shown at the Saunders Inquiry. To date, only Mr Terry Wilcox, the claimants and an unnamed family liaison officer have ever reportedly seen the relevant footage and images.

While, in this civil matter, Master Davison was only concerned with the balance of probability—“beyond all reasonable doubt” is not required in judging such claims—given that the CCTV evidence has not been made public or seen by the Court, and in light of Hall’s high level of doubt that the claimants were present, some aspects of the High Court proceedings seem inexplicable.

Davison denied Hall’s request to submit into evidence the “CCTV moving images showing” the claimants in the Arena. This is the same footage reportedly seen by Mr Wilcox. Had the Court allowed those images and the footage to be shown, It would have been very inexpensive and easy for Davison to have provided the relevant clips. Doing so would have shown whether the claimants claim to have been in the Arena was true “beyond all reasonable doubt”—far beyond the balance of probability.

So why Davison chose not to allow Hall’s application and requested court order to obtain this evidence seems rather odd. What is stranger still is that it was Hall, and not the claimants’ legal team, who made the request for the CCTV video. Surely the claimants’ would have wanted to submit it into evidence themselves, thereby proving “beyond all reasonable doubt” that Hall’s opinions are completely unfounded?

Hall has also reported evidence that indicates the claim against him was potentially instigated by the BBC. If so, the case can certainly be considered part of a wider drive by the government to censor all dissenting opinion. While the case has already taken a massive toll on Richard D. Hall, and threatens to ruin his life, the broader implications for investigative journalism cannot be overstated.

It seems likely that an injunction granted against Hall will necessitate that all of his evidence is taken down and years of his painstaking research expunged from the public record. Any such decision will be nothing short of book burning.

In many respects, this case, and specifically the “summary judgment,” has ramification as damaging for journalism as those the Assange case portend. It appears that High Court of Justice Master Davison has set a precedent, based upon his appraisal of the “balance of probability,” that will have a crushing impact upon journalism and anyone’s ability to question power.

Despite the known fact that governments perpetrate acts of false flag terrorism, both at home and abroad, there is now virtually no scope for any investigative journalist to question the official narrative of any future false flag terrorist attack. All the State needs to do is convince a purported victim to launch a similar claim and the court can cite Richard D. Hall’s summary judgment to deliver the same brand of “justice” to them.

The potential exists for this ruling to be applied to the broader questioning of State narratives. A civil court action, claiming some sort of harassment or harm caused, may well be sufficient for any published criticism to be silenced. Journalists hoping to emulate the great questioners of power, such as Gary Webb or the late John Pilger, could face penury and ruin if they ever dare to express doubt about official, State claims.

Ultimately, we the people will suffer the consequences. No longer able to access dissenting opinion, our views will be manipulated and controlled by an effective Ministry of Truth.


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