THE man accused of organising the anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine protest held in Bradford in March has had the case against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Amar Sattar, 36, of Fell Lane, Keighley, had been charged with holding or being involved in holding a gathering of more than 30 people on specific outdoor land in a Tier 4 area, to which he pleaded not guilty in June.

It related to the Unite the North protest held in Bradford on March 27, when a few hundred people came to the city centre to protest while the country was in lockdown to try and control Covid-19.

During the protest 13 people were arrested and 19 people fined, with nine police officers injured and a small group of protesters tried to storm a vaccination clinic.

Following the drawing up of legal argument against the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 Mr Sattar was charged with breaching, the CPS decided to no longer pursue a conviction against him.

The CPS said it dropped the case due to “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”.

Mr Sattar never denied attending the demonstration, and in fact worked with police to try and make sure the protest went ahead safely but afterwards was arrested, what he called the “the worst day of my life”.

He said the arrest, charge and initial court hearing were “very distressing”.

In a statement, he said his solicitor Sajad Chaudhury and counsel Hannah Thomas wanted “to air the issue of my fundamental human rights and ability to participate in a protest even during the Covid pandemic”, and his legal team challenged the law he was charged with breaking.

He had next been due in court on October 13, but the day before having considered the defence’s argument, the CPS discontinued its case against Mr Sattar.

Mr Sattar added: “I would like to thank my legal team led by Sajad Chaudhury of Harewood Law and Hannah Thomas of 2 Hare Court Chambers London, who went over and above what was required of them.

“I would like to thank my family, my friends and all those people who showed me so much support across social media platforms during this difficult time.

“Today my faith in the criminal justice system has been restored.”

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review so that they are stopped if they no longer meet our legal test for prosecution.

“With this specific case we have now decided there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.”

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