Businessman in 'right to be forgotten' fight with Google waits for ruling

A businessman who wants Google to stop linking his name to internet media reports about a past crime is waiting to hear whether he has won an historic High Court fight.

The man was convicted of "tax fraud" in the late 1990s and his case was reported in the media, a judge has been told.

He says his conviction is legally "spent" and he has a "right to be forgotten". Google bosses dispute his claims.

Mr Justice Warby on Wednesday finished analysing evidence at a High Court trial in London which began last week.

Barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC, who heads the businessman's legal team, told the judge: "All he is doing is making a simple, straightforward request for some old material to be taken off the internet."

He said the information at the centre of the case was "spent" under legislation relating to the rehabilitation of offenders and had become "private".

"Google have simply failed to grapple with the importance of rehabilitation," he said.

"Mr Google having decided that his view of public policy is to be preferred."

He told the judge: "The whole point of the right to be forgotten is that in appropriate cases true information deserves to be forgotten."

Barrister Antony White QC, who is leading Google's legal team, has told Mr Justice Warby that Google had "declined to delist".

Google bosses say the information is accurate and reports about "business malpractice" are likely to be of continuing relevance.

They say the businessman plays a role in public life because he is a businessman and there may be investors who "want to know".

Mr Justice Warby is next week expected to analyse a similar case involving a second businessman.

He says he will produce a ruling covering both cases on a date yet to be fixed.