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From: "Loombreaker" (
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2001 14:31:45 -0000
Subject: loombreaker 16, jan feb 2001

Trident Ploughshares protestors found not guilty

There were tears in Manchester Crown Court as Sylvia and River were found not guilty of conspiring to cause criminal damage to the nuclear submarine Vengeance. The 2 activists were apprehended by security before they reached the submarine at Barrow docks on 23rd November 1999. Sylvia and River never denied intending to cause damage but argued that they were acting to prevent greater crimes. Sylvia argued that nuclear weapons are illegal under international law, referring to the World Court ruling of 1996.

Quoting Winston Churchill's admission that the "[U.K.] has acquired unto itself an unequal share of the world’s wealth... by violent means", River argued from the point of view that they are produced and deployed by international criminal organisations. Expert witness Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, described numerous examples of nuclear accidents, radioactive spills and apocalyptic near misses.

The judge, in his summing up, told the jury that the defendants had no defence in law. They failed to reach a unanimous verdict and were directed to reach a majority decision. Ten minutes later the historic verdict of not guilty was delivered.

Is this why Jack Straw wants to get rid of juries?

Contact - Trident Ploughshares
42-46 Bethel St, Norwich NR2 1NR
tel 01324 880744 - fax 01436 677529

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