The former Top Gear trio could face three years in prison as a judge reopened the investigation into their controversial number plate stunt in Argentina last year. Jeremy Clarkson sparked a controversy last year after driving through Argentina on a 1,400-mile road trip for a Top Gear Christmas special in a Porsche with the number plate “H982 FKL” on it.
Argentina’s ambassador Alicia Castro called the H982 FKL plate ‘malicious mockery’ of those who fought in the 1982 Falklands War, uplifting the situation to a gruesome political level.
An Argentine politician also claimed that the digits 269 on the number plate of the Ford Mustang, Richard Hammond drove were close to the 255 Britons killed during the war – and the numbers 646 on James May’s Lotus could be taken as a reference to the 649 Argentine casualties.
Top Gear crew changed the offending number plate – to H1 VAE – in a bid to appease furious locals, which misfired as an illegal act. It is an offence to change a licence plate and an investigation was launched after complaints from Falklands war veterans Previously Judge Maria Cristina Barrionuevo rejected a launch of an official probe concluding that the Top Gear team had not acted in bad faith in changing the plates.
An appeals court in Argentina has ordered a judge to reopen a criminal investigation into Jeremy Clarkson’s infamous drive. Clarkson and programme chiefs are facing a worst case scenario of three years in prison – after three appeal judges sided with prosecutors and ordered Barrionuevo to reactivate the case.
Speaking after the proceedings have been re-opened, Hillar, a spokesperson for the Malvinas Veterans Centre, remained adamant for the case to be brought to trial. “We believe that the Top Gear crew changed the plates in full knowledge of what they were doing was illegal,” he said. The BBC has consistently denied the implication that the plate was changed after the Porsche was purchased or the Porsche was bought for its number plate.
Jeremy Clarkson is known to upset a lot people around the world. A few days ago Jeremy put himself in another controversy of upsetting the people of Blackpool by calling them drunks, drug addicts and Syrian refugees! The list just goes on!