It seems Bennett, is due to appear in Court for his Contempt of Court hearing starting either the 4th or the 5th February 2013 at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Back on the 24th October 2012 Mr Justice Tugendhat, made a ruling about the case.. Bennett Judgement 24th October 2012.
However I would like to point out the following, certain points I have picked up on, about that reading.
20. When the matter came before me on an earlier occasion, and again on 11 October 2012, I expressed concern as to the procedural route which the Defendant has chosen to pursue his stated aim. It seemed to me that a variation of the undertaking that he gave in November 2009 might not, of itself, even if he were to achieve it, leave him free to make the allegations which he wishes to be able to continue to make.
21. The discharge of an injunction, or of an undertaking, is not of itself a licence or judgment of the court that a publication, which was previously restrained by such injunction or undertaking, may lawfully be published. There would need to be determined, in one way or another, at least two issues before it could be said that the Defendant is to be entitled to make public the allegations he wishes to make. The first issue is whether he can overcome the preliminary obstacle which Mr Dean submits is presented by the principle that settlements are not to be reopened in circumstances such as those existing in this case. If the Defendant succeeds on that first issue, the second issue would be whether the Claimants have a good cause of action, whether in libel, or harassment (if they wish to revive the harassment claim), such as would entitle them to have re-imposed an injunction in terms similar to the undertakings which the Defendant gave.
Basically what that judge is saying, if I am reading this right… even if he did win in his application to lift the stay.. the final conclusion of the court could be that the court enforces the same conditions as were imposed back in November 2009… Now another interesting thing here, is that the McCanns have the option of going for libel proceedings or harassment, should they wish to revive that claim… so Bennett could be doing all of this and the McCanns go down the route of harassment… and all they have to do is prove that he has harassed them and it is bloody clear when the Madeleine Foundation sent books to MP’s and leafleted their neighbours… Bennett doesn’t have a leg to stand on in my opinion… he is doomed whichever way he looks at it.
23. I express no view, one way or the other, as to whether the Defendant has any prospect of persuading the court to lift the stay. But if the court were minded to lift the stay, it would not follow that it would immediately permit a variation of the undertakings. One course that the court could follow would be to take it in stages, as the court might determine. If the court did lift the stay, the next step would be for the Claimants to serve Particulars of Claim.
Now those Particulars of Claim, could be for libel or harassment.. so Bennett could fight this tooth and nail and win his application to lift the stay to find that he is not facing a libel trial but an harassment case… and the courts won’t be interested in Amaral’s book, his case, the PJ files, Almeida’s preliminary report, the dogs, all they will be interested in is, “Did this man harass the McCanns by his actions?” and the answer to that is unequivocally.. YES.
26. It is a rule of law of great importance that undertakings to the court (like injunctions) must be obeyed so long as they are in force. If a party restrained by such an order wishes to contend that the order ought not to have been made, or ought not to remain in force, it is not open to that party to ignore the order and then, if faced with a committal application, to ask for that committal application to be adjourned pending the determination of an application to vary the undertaking or injunction. If that were permitted, the administration of justice would be seriously undermined: injunctions and undertakings would not be the effective remedies that they are required to be.
And paragraph 26.. sums this case up well, and the Judge sees exactly what Bennett is doing.. he signed that order back in November 2009 without duress and because he continued his campaign and court proceedings have been instigated he now wants to change the order… If the McCanns had never gone as far as they have done, by taking him to court for Contempt of Court, then he would never have applied to have a lift of stay and his order amended.
If you read that judgement what the Judge is saying, Bennett has tried to undermine the law and the courts will see this application to lift the stay purely because he continued and had committal proceedings against him… his time to vary the judgement and fight his corner was back in November 2009 when the courts awarded the order. He agreed to that order then before a court and therefore he will have to adhere to it, in my opinion.
However, should the McCanns decide to go down the route of Harassment, then it was not just Tony Bennett who was harassing them, it was the Madeleine Foundation. Remember it was members of the Madeleine Foundation who were also leafleting the neighbours of the McCanns.
So will Mr Bennett, take the punishment on the chin, or will he cry that he was acting within the bounds of the Madeleine Foundation remit and all actions have to be approved by the committee.
Because you see if he does, I do wonder whether he will try to get the committee to enforce the Membership part of Madeleine Foundation Constitution where it states the following:..(screenshot)
7. (a) The initial membership fee shall be £____ , which shall entitle the member to membership of The Madeleine Foundation until further notice.
(b) membership fees shall be determined from time to time by the Board of Directors
8. The Board of Directors reserves the right, however, to call on members for further membership fees should that prove necessary.
Interesting times ahead, me thinks..
Tony Bennett Today at 10:54 am
The Depuy Court Manager in the High Court Queen’s Bench Division Listing Office, Mr James Tipp, has just informed me that the hearing of McCanns v Bennett (case HQ 09 D 05196) is now listed for:
TUESDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2013 and
WEDNESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2013