Lakenheath 8 go to trial over 2 years later. (UK)


On 3rd November 2008 the Lakenheath 8 had their final pre-trial review. The trial will take place from December 1st - 4th at Ipswich Crown Court, two years and two months after their taking action to prevent more innocent victims in the continuing bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan undertaken by US planes from USAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. . (Crown court applies to the venue, not this trial, which will be heard by a District Judge).


(11.11.2008)

On the 2nd October 2006, 8 people cut the fence ran into the US military base and locked themselves to the gate of the Special Munitions Store at RAF Lakenheath in order to stop the use of those weapons and in order to secure evidence of War Crimes.

SOCPA at USAF Lakenheath.

Once in and secured to the gates they phoned the MOD police to request their presence on an allegation that war crimes were being committed.

The Lakenheath 8 had locked their bodies to the gates to prevent the deployment of weapons, including cluster bombs, and secured the evidence for investigation for as long as possible. After 3 hours they were forcibly removed by a specialist MOD cutting team.

The 8 were some of the first to be arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act section 128, and were further charged with criminal damage for cutting through the fence.

At the pre-trial review the defence won the right to call expert witness, Rae McGrath, Nobel Laureate and expert on cluster bombs. McGrath has also been heavily involved in the Oslo agreement on cluster munitions. He will, however, be attending the trial to give evidence rather than attending the signing of the Oslo agreement in Norway.

Following a statement from the Minister of State on 4 December 2006 on the use of cluster munitions, Parliament reconsidered these weapons and the humanitarian considerations arising from deploying such indiscriminate bombs.

Hansard reported on 20 March 2007 that 'dumb' cluster bombs would be withdrawn from service with immediate effect. Parliament also confirmed that it would also work towards an international ban on their use in the future. Britain is one of 107 countries to be signing the International Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo - on the 1st - 3rd December 2008.

However, the UK ban will not stop cluster bombs being deployed by the US and stored at US military bases across the UK. The Lakenheath 8 are among many campaigners calling for the removal of cluster bombs from UK soil and a ban on their use internationally.

Mell Harrison said ' After years of campaigning using prescribed democratic process, still the bombs were falling. Seeing the bombs inside Lakenheath and the images of children screaming, and with missing limbs in the media, we had to take direct action ourselves to stop these war crimes'

More info on the trial,
Contact Mell Harrison
Mellcndeast@cnduk.org
0845 3370282

More info on the Oslo agreement at
www.stopclustermunitions.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/englishfinaltext.pdf
and lots more at www.stopclustermunitions.org
including people's treaty to sign
www.minesactioncanada.org/peoples_treaty/index.cfm

Twiddle
e-mail: mellcndeast@cnduk.org
Homepage: www.easterncnduk.org

Von: 11.11.2008, www.indymedia.org.uk

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