Some time ago SCoJeC reported a series of antisemitic postings on the comment pages of the Scotsman and Herald newspapers to both Police and Press Complaints Commission. We also informed MSPs who were appalled by remarks such as "jews are not fit to breathe our air. They must be attacked wherever you see them; throw rocks at their ugly, hooked-nosed women and mentally ill children, and light up the REAL ovens." (For more information see Four Corners 17.)
Although the Press Complaints Commission replied that the comments did not breach their Code of Practice, our report was followed up by the Police, and subsequently Crown Office, with the result that Mohammed Sandia first appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court in October 2009 charged with having posted the above comment. At that time he pled "not guilty", but at a hearing on 13 October this year changed his plea to "guilty". The court has requested a community service report, and Mr Sandia will be sentenced on 10 November.
SCoJeC Public Affairs Officer Leah Granat said "We welcome the diligence with which the police and Crown Office followed up our original report about these appalling comments. The success of their prosecution underlines the importance of reporting all incidents to the police."
A spokesman for Crown Office said "There is no place in Scotland for those who commit crimes motivated by prejudice and intolerance. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service takes offences of this kind extremely seriously and will continue to work closely with other criminal justice agencies to ensure that offenders are brought to justice."