Update: Trashing Trident Trial, Manchester

Trident Illegal (or not?)

As you may recall from Networking Newsletter Issue 24, there have been several disarmaments of different parts of the UK's nuclear Trident system. Activists from the latest two actions have now been through the courts, with very different results.

In Scotland, Angie Zelter, Ulla Roder and Ellen Moxley were found not guilty of £70,000 worth of damage to a floating laboratory "Mayime" which tests the nuclear submarines' abilities to be detected by sonar. The judge's directions to the jury effectively ruled Trident illegal under international, and therefore Scottish, law.

Meanwhile, south of the border, the Swedes Annika and Stellan faced a retrial for their 1998 ploughshares action on Vengeance, the fourth British Trident then under construction at VSEL shipyards in Barrow-on-Furness after the initial trial ended in a hung jury. (Co-defendant Ann-Britt remained in Sweden on health grounds and in reference to the Attorney General's response to issues of international law on nuclear weapons raised at the original trial.) Unlike the Scottish trial, this judge ruled out any possible defence based on international law and directed the jury to consider symbolic damage the same as criminal damage. The jury, eventually, found Annika and Stellan guilty and they were sentenced to the time they'd spent on remand.

Trident Ploughshares 2000 (01603 611953, info@tridentploughshares.org)
Bread not Bombs ploughshares (plowshares@hotmail.com)
GM&D; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (834 8301, gmdcnd@gn.apc.org)

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