Danish Court: Climate activists are innocent
Aug. 31, 2010 8:42 p.m.
(PRESS RELEASE) The Copenhagen City Court has today ruled that Natasha Verco and Noah Weiss are innocent. The two climate activists were charged for organizing illegal activities during the COP15 summit in Copenhagen in 2009. But the charges didn't stand in court. The verdict discredits the violent methods adopted by police during the climate summit, when politically active people were denied their democratic right to criticize the climate negotiations.
Natasha Verco feels that the entire process has been absurd:
There has been a very clear political purpose behind these court cases, and the verdict is totally absurd. In the whole case the evidence has been related to fully legal activities, that the police has tried to manipulate, in order to make them appear illegal. It has been all from prints of posters, to finding parking lots fors sound equipments and participating in open information meetings for hundreds of people.
Both Natasha and Noah feel, that the case should put an end to the police undemocratic methods:
I see this as a victory, not only for us, but for the legal rights in Denmark. And it also means that no longer can the police use manipulation of evidence and lies to repress politically active people. I assume that also Tannie and Stine, who are going to court in October, will be acquitted as well, says Noah Weiss.
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2000 people have been arrested during the climate summit in December, and many were preventively arrested during the big climate demonstration on December 12th, 2009. These incidents, has later been criticized, among others, by Amnesty International. Now there are four people charged for having, according to police, planned actions during the summit. Among them are Natasha Verco, 32 years old Australian woman, and the American student Noah Weiss.
Natasha Verco and Noah Weiss are accused to having planned violence against police, disturbance of public order and vandalism. These are the charges, that could lead to several years of prison and deportation.
Background articles on the court cases
Politiken.dk English news
Call for solidarity with accused activists
Articles in Danish
Alle midler i brug mod miljøaktivister
Surveillance, secret investigation and eventually custody were all employed against people that according to the police was planning illegal actions during the climate summit. Now it has to be decided, if they can be sentenced.
Diffus anklage mod aktivister
The prosecutor saw one of the charges against the two defendants dropped. They are now only accused of planning criminal activities during the climate summit.