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Tommy Robinson freed after court agrees contempt hearing was flawed

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By Euronews
A poster supporting Tommy Robinson outside the High Court in London
A poster supporting Tommy Robinson outside the High Court in London   -   Copyright  Reuters

British far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been freed on bail after judges upheld an appeal against a conviction for contempt of court.

Robinson's supporters, including former Donald Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon, had claimed that his conviction for broadcasting details of an ongoing court case on the internet was an assault on free speech.

British law allows judges to impose restrictions on reporting of details around ongoing court cases to prevent jurors from being influenced by material they might come across outside the courtroom.

The Court of Appeal ruled that there had been procedural errors in the original decision to jail Robinson for 13 months, although it upheld a separate suspended sentence for a similar offence. 

The case against Robinson, 35, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon founded the anti-Islam English Defence League, will have to be heard again before a different judge.

Demonstrators backing Robinson and opposing his release were present outside the court in London.