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|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:50 pm Post subject: Comics rally for joke Tweet trial
|Stars launch benefit to pay legal bills
|Some of Britain’s top comedians are joining forces to raise money for the man prosecuted for joking on Twitter.
Stephen Fry, Al Murray and David Schneider are among the stars appearing at a benefit gig in London next week to help cover the legal fees of Paul Chambers.
In January last year, the accountant was arrested under terror laws for tweeting: ‘Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, or I'm blowing the airport sky high!!’
He was detained, questioned and later charged with sending a ‘menacing’ message. He lost two jobs and gained a criminal conviction.
Chambers is now appealing the case in the High Court, with the case expected to be heard this spring or summer. The benefit at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre will raise funds to cover his barristers’ fees.
The gig was the idea of Father Ted and IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan – who will also be on the bill – who approached promoters with the idea.
Organiser Jon Petrie said: ‘Comedy and Twitter go hand in hand and if Paul was to lose this case it would affect everyone wishing to make a joke when using social media. His tweet was so clearly meant as a joke, that there has been a serious sense of humor failure on the part of the British law system.
‘All the comedians to be involved on the night said yes in an instant and there were many others keen to be involved but away on tour etc. We are still sorting out other exiting names to make an appearance on the night.’
Also confirmed for the April 15 gig are Jack Whitehall and Rufus Hound. Click here to book.
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