|Tony Rooke after winning his case|
regarding false reporting of WTC7
The then-49 year-old Rooke refused to pay his required TV license because he believed the BBC covered up facts about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He said that paying his bill would be tantamount to supporting "the practice of terror." In that hearing he was found guilty of using an unlicensed television set and given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £200.
A few months later, in April 2013, he represented himself in court. He did not deny owning a TV and watching it without a license. He cited the Terrorism Act, Section 15 of the 2000 Act, as his reason for withholding payment. The Terrorism Act states that it is an offense for someone "to invite another to provide money, intending that it should be used, or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for terrorism purposes."
In court Rooke made the case that to pay funds to the BBC was tantamount to furthering the purposes of terrorism and "I have incontrovertible evidence to this effect. I do not use this word lightly given where I am," he said.
Rooke cited that during the attacks of September 11, 2001 the BBC reported that World Trade Centre 7 had fallen, when, in fact it still stood erect and intact over the shoulder of the reporter reporting it. The news story occurred 20 minutes before building actually collapsed. (The
He said to the court: "The BBC reported it 20 minutes before it fell. They knew about it beforehand. Last time I was here I asked you (the judge): 'Were you aware of World Trade Centre 7?'" (WTC 7 was a 47-story skyscraper that was not hit by a plane on 9/11 but imploded at free-fall speed later that day.) "You said you had heard of it. Ten years later you should have more than heard of it. It's the BBC's job to inform the public. Especially of miracles of science and when laws of physics become suspended."
Rooke argued that since the BBC had prior knowledge that the building was doomed and did not warn Americans about it, it made them complicit in the attack.
The judge ruled that he while "did not believe he had the power to rule under the terrorism act," he agreed that Rooke had a reasonable case and thus found him not guilty. He was not fined for failure to pay the licensing fee.
BBC editors assert the reporting was a mistake but that they "no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy."