Jeffrey LewisElahe Mohtasham Decision

If you are not familiar with Ms. Elahe Mohtasham’s allegations against various persons associated with the University of Southampton, lucky you. Keep it that way and read no further.  I will not dignify the allegations by repeating them.

If you have been exposed, however unwillingly, to this ugliness, then you ought to know that the UK High Court has issued a judgment against Ms. Mohtasham.  Here is what Southampton’s law firm said:

University of Southampton & Howlett v Mohtasham [2012] EWHC 1630 (QB)

Case Summary  |   8 November 2012

This was a three week trial in the Queen’s Bench Division in which Jessie Bowhill acted for the successful Claimants. The Defendant in that case had over the course of eight years published allegations throughout the world that the University of Southampton and leading academics in the field of nuclear non-proliferation had plagiarised her work, and discriminated against her on the grounds of race and sex. In his Judgment of 8 November 2012 Deputy Judge Pittaway QC held that the Defendant’s allegations were false and made maliciously, and amounted to harassment and intimidation of the individuals concerned.

A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available here.

I spent three hours reading the 59-page document last night and recommend you do the same.


  1. TB (History)

    It’s taken a long time but delighted to see this result. I would encourage everyone to read the last few pages and ensure that this is widely publicised. Elahe Mohtasham has been able to spread her malicious lies for too long, partly because the fear of prejudicing any court action has prevented the victims from going public with the scale and viciousness of the campaign she has waged. She has targeted not only the the University of Southampton, but many other institutions and many many innocent people involved in the field.

  2. Al (History)

    The Judge states that he believes the case took too long to come to court, and that the lives and careers of those affected by this appalling harassment may have been damaged irreparably. It’s an interesting insight into the failure of institutions to take timely and appropriate action in response to extremely serious cyber harassment and intimidation. Elahe Mohtasham is the guilty party in all of this, but it has to be said that she was able to conduct her vicious campaign for years and years without penalty because too many people in positions of influence hid their heads in the sand. It’s a sad and shocking story.

  3. CH (History)

    This is great news. The judgment does say that it is regrettable that it has taken so long, but it doesn’t quite explain why it did. Surely it can’t all be down to a fear of prejudicing the court on the part of the victims? Either way, there is something going wrong if the defendant can manage to get away with exhibiting such seriously damaging behaviour for so long.

    Hopefully this will establish a precedent so that similar cases in the future can be dealt with faster, although some details of the case are so bizarre one wonders if there will be anything quite like it for some time to come. One can only hope.

  4. shaheen (History)

    A fortunately rare case of truly twisted and totally unbalanced personality in a field – international security – which includes tons of extraordinarily smart and exceptionally dedicated individuals, civilians and military.

  5. Dan Joyner (History)

    Wow. That is really messed up. I’ve known John and worked with him from time to time (he wrote a chapter for one of my edited books) for 10 years or so, but I never knew all this was going on. She really comes across as a psycho. I’m glad this judgment has finally been given against her, though its painful to read how much the whole thing clearly bothered John over the years. MCIS is a great institution with a well deserved reputation of quality, and John Simpson comes foremost to my mind still among all academics working on nuclear nonproliferation in the UK. He’s a good man and a great scholar.

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