Sunday, 7 October 2007

Free speech a shilling for you thoughts

I must admit I had never heard of billionaire Uzbek Oligarch Alisher Usmanov, not being an Arsenal fan. Nor indeed had I ever heard of Schillings Lawyers - unless any of them are related to the lady known for wearing interesting hats to well known race meetings.

Now I have heard of Mr Usmanov - and now I know Craig Murray, is a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and that Mr Murray has written a book that had a thing or two to say about Mr Usmanov. I understand they also featured in a speech made to the European Parliament.

I have not read the book, but I am aware of the substance of the allegations. I have no idea if they may be true or not.

What I do know is that Mr Usmanov has apparently been throwing his financial weight around via Schillings, silencing web sites that commented on the substance of what was said.

In fact that's how I heard about him and took the trouble to look into what has been said. So if he was hoping to contain interest in what was said, or stifle it, then maybe this was not the best way to have gone about it.

Surely if he feels he has been libelled then the court is the place to prove it and be vindicated.