Press Contact: Andrew Beckett or Simon Marsh
Hove Crown Court, Brighton UK
Final two Decommissioners Found NOT GUILTY!
The jury in the trial of seven activists who decommissioned a Brighton arms factory to prevent Israel war crimes in Gaza in January 2009, have now found all seven activists not guilty of Conspiracy to Cause Criminal Damage by unanimous verdict in Hove Crown Court.
The seven entered the factory on 16th Jan 2009, causing nearly £200,000 of damage and shutting down production. They offered no defence other than the prevention of imminent war crimes.
Simon Levin, Tom Woodhead, Ornella Saibene, Bob Nicholls, Harvey Tadman were all acquitted on Wednesday. (See Guardian Coverage)
The final two Elijah Smith and and Chris Osmond were acquitted this morning.
Chris Osmond said “This action was taken was taken because of EDO MBMs illegal supply of weapons to the Israeli military. We brought the suffering of ordinary Palestinians into a British courtroom and confronted with the evidence they took the brave decision to find that our actions were justified”
All have now been found not guilty by unanimous verdict.
A press conference will take place at:
Mary Magdalene Community Centre
55 Upper North Street
Messages of support have already arrived from Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, and Noam Chomsky.
Caroline Lucas said:
‘I am absolutely delighted that the jury has recognised that the actions of the decommissioners were a legitimate response to the atrocities being committed in Gaza. I do not advocate non violent direct action lightly; however in this situation it is clear that the decommissioners had exhausted all democratic avenues and, crucially, that their actions were driven by the responsibility to prevent further suffering in Gaza.’
Noam Chomsky said
‘I would like to express my respect and admiration for those who are undertaking non-violent resistance to oppose British participation in Israel’s cruel crimes in Gaza.’
News site Ynetnews.com reports that the Israeli Ambassador in London is