Saturday, June 30, 2007

Court Refuses To Drop 6th Fairford Trial

Milling and Jones

Prosecution Case Continues Tomorrow


The re-trial began today of the 'Fairford Two' at Bristol Crown Court, making this series of trials the second longest the court has seen.

Jones, from Bristol, and Milling, from Cumbria disabled two articulated lorries, fifteen bomb-carrying trailers and three fuel trucks at the RAF base in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in 2003. They admit using hammers and boltcutters to disable the equipment on 13 March, just one week before the invasion of Iraq.

The pair, accused of conspiracy to commit criminal damage, have never denied damaging the vehicles, property of the US Air Force, but claim they were justified in doing so.

In Bristol Crown Court this morning lawyers for the two urged Judge Tom Crowther to dismiss the case on the grounds that the re-trial was 'oppressive', in view of acquittals in five previous related trials. The judge however, refused the application, and the trial began this morning with the prosecution's presentation of its case.

Jones and Milling said they wanted to stop US Air Force B-52 bombers taking off. They were trying to stop the “murder of innocent civilians” in Iraq.

Since the night of their arrest the defendants have claimed they were justified indisabling trailers used to transport bombs for US jets and fuel tankers in order to prevent war crimes being committed.

The two were the first defendants in an English crown court to use the defence of acting to prevent war crimes. They have been on bail for the past four years.

The linked cases of Milling and Jones, Pritchard and Olditch, and Josh Richards, were jointly the subject of a lengthy pre-trial appeal to the House of Lords, over what defence arguments the accused would be allowed to make in court. These appeals had to be completed before the separate trials could go ahead.

The law lords ruled that all five defendants could argue that they were trying to prevent war crimes - but not that the Iraq war was itself a crime.

The current trial is expected to continue until the end of the week.


Robbie Manson (solicitor) - 01239 821 066 / Mob. 07812 681
Paul Milling - 01539 436 691 (H) / Mob.0776 583 6150
Margaret (Monica) Jones - 0117 946 6885

Latest News: 7/7/07
In spite of the best efforts of our excellent legal team, we had a jury who unanimously found us guilty after only three hours of deliberation.
This was especially frustrating given the previous track record of three hung juries in the orignial trials, and two acquittals for the re-trials prior to ours. Such is life.
Paul got a conditional discharge. I have to go to see the probation people prior to sentencing, and probably will end up doing community service. (The US Air Force should NOT expect any compensation whatever for their damaged vehicles, regardless of anything else !)
Paul and I agreed this afternoon that we both still feel profoundly content about what we tried to do back, in 2003. We still see it as morally right. If it's been adjudged legally wrong - so be it. Only sorry we couldn't pull off a hat trick for the peace movement. (It's STILL two victories to one defeat - and that will have to do.)
I just want to say THANK YOU to our excellent and deeply committed legal team - and also to our wonderful supporters, who really have sustained us for weeks and days now, in so many, many ways.
'Say not the struggle nought availeth ... .
'Stand up, stand up against oppression, for the tyrants fear your might ...
'Peace, love, solidarity -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't see them getting away with it.

It's a bit like breaking into a car showroom and smashing up a load of cars on the grounds that you're trying to prevent children from being killed in motoring accidents.