The Words of the Marsh Family
Preliminary Hearing Report
February 1, 2004
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for your prayers this afternoon and at other times.
The Preliminary Hearing, that happened today, makes decisions as to how to schedule the production of evidence and the arguments on both sides. (There was never going to be a decision on the actual case in today's proceedings.) Today we wanted to get as early a date as possible while still being able to make the best case possible from our side. The Home Office side wanted to have a Hearing in mid-to-late April to give them time to prepare a case.
Our desire for an early date was complicated by two factors. One the Home Office does not have a clear case. We cannot respond (that is gather evidence and prepare experts witnesses to rebut allegations made by the Home Office) to something which is vague and general. The crazy point about this is that the Home Secretary, despite not having a case, has banned Father after a two year 'review'. Now when it has come to court they must prepare a case and so far they are floundering trying to find something that will stick. Public order has, we think, been dropped. Other grounds were proposed during the last Home Office letter but without specific reasons or evidence and with great flaws in their arguments.
The second complication was that David Pannick, our Counsel, has other cases in which he is involved. He was free only on a few dates. The best time, after a lot of discussion, was March 11-12th for him to be able to prepare himself for the case. He has represented Father twice in court already and he has won both times.
We contacted Rev. Song via the European office and he agreed that March 11-12th was a good date bearing in mind all the other considerations of which he is aware. Upon this basis we accepted March 11th-12th.
The schedule we have agreed is:
February 9th the Home Office lawyers will inform us of their case.
February 18th they will give us copies of all their evidence.
March 3rd we will provide our evidence rebutting their allegations.
March 5th we will provide skeleton arguments.
March 9th they will provide skeleton arguments.
March 11th is the first day of the hearing.
There may be a short time interval after the Hearing before the Adjudicator makes his decision.
Our prayers and efforts need to be focussed on these dates and the prevention of an appeal by the Home Secretary if, and God Willing he should, he loses. That would clear the path for Father to be able to visit the UK and set a good precedent for similar efforts in the Netherlands to remove the ban of True Parents from the Shengen countries and in Germany to remove its ban of True Parents.
Today the Home Office side was told off by the Adjudicator for its incompetence in not granting a right to appeal the Home Secretary's ban of Father from the UK. For three months, July to October 2003, they would not give a right for us to appeal the decision even though it is very clear under the Human Rights Act. Our lawyer described it as an Alice in Wonderland situation'! The Adjudicator said, 'What was Rev. Moon supposed to do - just give up on his human rights?' Hopefully it is an indication of what may, and should, happen at the Full Hearing.
Thank you for all your support.
Robin Marsh and Mark Brann
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