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BNP newspapers seized by police

| Monday, 12 September 2005 Source: The BBC

The entire print run of this month's edition of the British National Party's newspaper has been seized by police.

About 60,000 copies of the September issue of The Voice of Freedom were impounded after they arrived at Dover on Sunday, in a lorry from Slovakia.

Kent Police said an investigation had been launched into whether any public order offences regarding the incitement of racial hatred had been committed.

A spokesman said officers were working with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Kent Police were alerted by customs officers after the newspapers were found during a random check.

The two Slovak drivers were released after questioning.

The British National Party (BNP) said the papers had been en route from the printworks in Slovakia to a distribution facility in Leeds.

It has now published the paper on its website.

Spokesman Dr Phill Edwards said the seizure of the party newspaper was "a serious attack by the state on freedom of speech".

'Abuse of power'

He added: "What they are doing is trying to look for something wrong when they don't know there is anything wrong.

"We are saying it is an abuse of power we are supposed to be a free country."

On its website, the party said none of its leadership believed the customs search was random.

"No one believes it was anything else other than a deliberate act of disruption from the very top of the Labour regime," it said.

A Kent police spokesman said the force was liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) "to ascertain whether any offences have been committed by the possession and intended distribution of this publication".

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