UK police drop investigation into rapper Wiley’s anti-Semitic tirade

British authorities say they cannot prosecute musician because he was abroad during anti-Jewish Twitter spree; nonprofit vows to press ahead with charges

Wiley performs at O2 Academy Brixton, March 2, 2018. (Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images via JTA)
Wiley performs at O2 Academy Brixton, March 2, 2018. (Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — A police investigation in Britain against British rapper Wiley over a 48-hour anti-Semitic tirade on social media has been closed — but not because of anything about the content of his tweets.

Instead, British police determined that because Wiley was not in the country at the time of his Twitter spree in July, he could not be prosecuted under British law.

Wiley, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, was in the Netherlands at the time, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Wiley’s Jewish manager cut ties with him after his tirade, which prompted a 48-hour Twitter boycott by British Jews who were unhappy with the social media platform’s response.

The rapper was also banned by YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a British nonprofit, said it would seek charges in the country from which Wiley tweeted, announcing that it “has already appointed lawyers in that jurisdiction and we will pursue justice abroad.”

“At this stage we are able to confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service has closed its investigation due to jurisdictional issues and that we have instructed lawyers abroad to pursue this matter,” Stephen Silverman, the group’s director of investigations and enforcement, said in a statement.

“When anti-Semites incite hatred against Jews, we will pursue them, including across borders if necessary.”

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