Press Release: October 29th 2004
Today, leading civil rights lawyers, Bindman and Partners, on behalf of Trident Ploughshares activists, issued a formal request to the Defence Secretary to appear at their trial.
The case relates to a citizen weapons’ inspection at Northwood Military Headquarters, carried out in April this year, to mark the release of Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Central to the legal argument of the defence are the conditions under which the UK would start a nuclear war.
Trident Ploughshares spokesperson Joss Garman said: “After years of living under the shadow of a supposed nuclear deterrent, we now learn that this Government was planning a possible nuclear first strike against Iraq.”
He added: “Hoon has made exactly this threat in public and in Parliament (1), and we are seeking clarification as to exactly how many laws he was planning to break.”
Note to editors:
1) On the 20th March 2002, Hoon told the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence that, states such as Iraq “can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use our nuclear weapons.”
On the 24th March 2002, Hoon appeared on ITV's Jonathan Dimbleby show, insisting that the government “reserved the right” to use nuclear weapons if Britain or British troops were threatened by chemical or biological weapons”
See http://www.tridentploughshares.org/prel/prel04/nwood.php for more about last April’s citizen weapons’ inspection of Northwood Military Headquarters