Press Release: 17th June 2003
LEGALITY OF IRAQ WAR TO BE ARGUED IN COURT
A British Court will soon hear arguments on whether or not the Iraq war
illegal, and therefore whether peace campaigners who damaged or attempted
to damage military property at USAF/RAF Fairford in recent months, had
lawful excuse to do so. On 20th June at Gloucester Crown Court the judge
will set a date for hearing arguments on the legality of the war and the
order of related trials of peace activists.
This case has partly arisen because of, and is expected to directly affect
the outcome of, the separate trials of Trident Ploughshares peace
campaigners, Joss Garman, Margaret Jones and Paul Milling as well as the
cases of nine other anti war activists (named below) which will be heard
Gloucestershire courts over the next few months.
Joss Garman will also be on trial in Harrogate Magistrates Court on 1st
2nd July, facing a charge of criminal damage for damaging a perimeter
at Menwith Hill US Spy Base in Yorkshire on 1st February.
In all of the cases, the protesters will argue that they had lawful excuse
for their actions, because they were acting to prevent a greater crime.
Also, on 24th June, the "Pit Stop Ploughshares" activists in Ireland will
begin their trial for damaging a US Navy Plane at Shannon Airport in
IMPORTANT: Cirencester Magistrates Court has ruled that the press may not
publish Joss Garman's name.
The 12 defendants whose cases will be affected by June 20th decision are:
Joss Garman and Sam Grafton (criminal damage, aggravated trespass, going
equipped to cause criminal damage) Josh Richards (Going equipped to do
criminal damage) Phil Pritchard and Toby Olditch (conspiracy and going
equipped to cause criminal damage) Paul Milling and Margaret Jones
(conspiracy and criminal damage), Kate Holcombe, Geoffrey Cornock and 3
other people (criminal damage)
On 3rd and 4th March 2003, 14 B52 bombers from USAF 23rd Bomb Squadron
'Barons' arrived at USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, UK, to prepare for
the aerial bombing of Iraq, which began on 20th March 2003. On April 24th
2003, after 142 flights and 54 days, they left.
Iraq Body Count Latest (Civilian Iraqi Deaths): Minimum
5534 Maximum 7202
Contact: Joss Garman 07815004578