Hove Crown Court, Brighton UK
Press Contact: Andrew Beckett or Simon Marsh
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.
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 brough 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
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