Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Oz magazine trial

1971 British comedian Marty Feldman appeared for the defence in the OZ Trial at the sombre London criminal court, the Old Bailey, calling the judge "a boring old fart".

The OZ case was the longest obscenity trial in British legal history. The original sentences of up to 15 months for Richard Neville and the other defendants sparked a wave of protest from many, including John Lennon. With Yoko Ono, Lennon joined the protest march against the prosecution and organised the recording of 'God Save OZ' by the Elastic Oz Band, released on Apple Records.

At the time in Britain, conspiracy to pervert the course of public morals carried a life sentence and the defence of the OZ magazine defendants was an important libertarian cause ...

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