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US conspiracy theorist seeks end to case

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (C) is trying to have a defamation lawsuit against him dropped.Lawyers for US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have asked a Texas court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against him and his InfoWars website by the parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.
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Jones, from Travis County, Texas, has used the platform to call the mass shooting in Connecticut that killed 26 people a hoax.

He also suggested a political cover-up took place by left-wing forces seeking to advantage of the shooting to promote gun control.

Jones’ lawyer Mark Enoch has described his client as a political commentator expressing his views and played a 2017 broadcast where Jones said he did not believe the Sandy Hook shooting took place. Jones was not in court.

“Maybe it’s fringe speech. Maybe it’s dangerous speech, but it is not defamation,” he told Judge Scott Jenkins in the Texas court.

In 2013, Jones called the massacre “staged” and continued to stoke his conspiracy theory for years.

“Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured,” he said in a January 2015 broadcast.

Although Jones’ theory is false, people who believe him have for years harassed and taunted families of the victims, court papers showed and the families have said.

The lawsuit filed in April by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa seeks at least $US1 million in damages. They claim they were subject to harassment that forced them to move seven times after Jones claimed the parents were liars and frauds who helped in a cover-up, according to court documents.

Mark Bankston, an lawyer for the parents, told the judge that InfoWars viewers understood Jones was alleging that the parents were part of a criminal conspiracy and subjected the parents to years of threats.

A gunman killed 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, in an attack that ranks among the five deadliest mass shootings by a single gunman in US history.

Facebook last week suspended Jones from its social network for bullying and hate speech, after Google’s YouTube removed four of his videos from its site.

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