Court quashes bid to prosecute Boris Johnson over EU claim

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Boris Johnson

FILE – In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 file photo Britain’s then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson talks to a British armed forces serviceman based in Orzysz, in northeastern Poland, during a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and following talks on security with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz in Warsaw, Poland. A British judge has ruled that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will be summoned to court to answer questions about his possible misconduct in public office during the Brexit referendum campaign in 2016. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s High Court has quashed a bid to prosecute Conservative lawmaker Boris Johnson for allegedly lying during the country’s 2016 European Union membership referendum.

Two judges on Friday threw out a lower court’s ruling that Johnson should be summoned to answer questions about Brexit campaigners’ claim that Britain pays 350 million pounds ($446 million) a week to the EU. The net figure Britain sends is about half that.

Activist Marcus Ball brought a private prosecution against Johnson, who helped lead the “leave” campaign, for misconduct in public office.

Johnson’s lawyers argued the prosecution was politically motivated, and said the 350 million figure “was just a political claim” that voters could accept or reject.

Johnson is currently the favorite to succeed Theresa May, who steps down as Conservative Party leader Friday.

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