A long-running, bitterly fought legal battle is set to reach a conclusion at the Royal Courts of Justice in London next month, writes Neil Wilby.
In a High Court judgment handed down in February, 2022 a Conservative Party activist from Oldham, Greater Manchester was found to have harassed and libelled a long-serving, well known and highly respected Labour Party politician. It related to posts made on social media in or around June, 2020 (read more here).
The claimant is Cllr Riaz Ahmad, a Labour councillor in Oldham for over 30 years, a former Mayor of the Borough, magistrate, and a school and college governor.
The first defendant is Khazir Rehman (better known as ‘Kaiser’) who runs a failing public affairs and real estate consultancy from his home address in the Coppice area of his home town. He stood, controversially and unsuccessfully, as a Conservative Party candidate in the recent local elections in Oldham (read more here).
A second defendant, Raja Miah, an unemployed, infamous conspiracy theorist from Mossley, Tameside compromised the claim against him at an early stage in the proceedings by way of a public apology to Cllr Ahmad, a donation to charity and removal of the subject posts from his disgraced and frequently banned Recusant Nine social media platforms.
Rehman and Miah are long term friends and political allies.
At the core of the harassment and defamation claim was false allegations that Cllr Ahmad was a child sex offender. The presiding judge, Master Victoria McCloud, found no basis in fact, or evidence, to support such a grotesque assertion. Indeed, during the course of the trial, Rehman conceded to the court, in submissions, that he could not rely on truth as a defence to his actions.
During the course of three sitting days across April and October, 2021 the court also heard that Rehman had been convicted of harassing another Labour councillor, Dr Zahid Chauhan. In September, 2021, he was sentenced at Tameside Magistrates’ Court to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, amongst other wide ranging sanctions.
Rehman had repeatedly alleged, in terms, that Dr Chauhan ‘covered-up’ for Cllr Ahmad over the same false allegations.
Following the handing down of her substantive judgment, Master McCloud further ordered that the remaining parties to the claim should seek agreement on consequential costs and damages which, taken together, are likely to be in the order of £200,000 (read more here). Failing which, these residual issues would be resolved at a final hearing.
In the event, no such agreement has been forthcoming and a hearing has been listed for 2nd November, 2022 at the Royal Courts of Justice at which Master McCloud will hear submissions and make her final decisions.
For reasons that are unclear, neither his criminal conviction nor the High Court findings against Kaiser Rehman have ever been reported in the local or regional press. They are matters of public record at the relevant court offices.
Page last updated Tuesday 4th October, 2022 at 1055hrs
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