Argentinian Court Wants to Jail Clarkson Over NumberPlateGate

By Gary Cutlack on at

The curious case of the amazingly coincidental number plate is about to blow up again for the Top Gear crew, the BBC, and Jeremy Clarkson, with Argentinian courts apparently pushing to have Clarkson's inflammatory use of the number plate H982 FKL while driving through the country.

The trouble erupted late in 2014, when Clarkson and his platonic boyfriends arrived in Argentina to drive through the country and its neighbours for one of their televised horseplay episodes. The problem was, the number plate H982 FKL attached to Clarkson's Porsche was deemed to be a reference to the Falklands War of 1982, a conflict Argentina initiated by invading the islands before surrendering after a British effort to recapture the territory -- at a total cost of just over 900 lives.

The Top Gear team insisted the number plate was a coincidence and produced paperwork to prove the point, with Clarkson saying in a subsequent column in The Sun that: "We knew absolutely nothing about the number plate, it was just an unbelievable coincidence. I swear on my kids' lives."

"This was not a jolly jape that went awry," he also said at the time, amid reports the Top Gear team had effectively been booted out of the country for causing offence.

And that offence still lingers, with an appeals court in Tierra del Fuego said to have yielded to fresh pressure from Falklands veterans to reopen the case and press for charges -- including the possibility of a three-year jail term -- over the alleged case of "falsifying, altering or suppressing the number of a legally registered object." [Guardian]