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Ulla Roder Faces Legal Hurdles Before Trial Even Begins

Trident Ploughshare press release | 25.06.2003 12:58 | No War F15 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles

The trial of Ulla Roder for damaging a Tornado jet at Leuchars airbase in March, is now scheduled to be heard sometime during the two weeks beginning 28th July, following another hearing on 22nd July to check whether she is prepared for trial, given the barriers she is facing in getting legal representation.

Ulla (48), from Odense in Denmark but currently living in Scotland, is being held on remand at Cornton Vale prison in Stirling. When she appeared at a preliminary hearing today in Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court she asked for the original trial date of 30th June to be adjourned to give her time to consider her position, after sacking her defence team at a consultation just before the hearing.

Her advocate, John McLaughlin, told Ulla that he had been advised by the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates that he could not put forward the defence she wanted to be presented to the jury. She will now investigate whether there is any way she can be represented at her trial, which she feels is a basic right for any accused who is untrained in the law.

The basic legal point at issue appears to be that the Lord Advocate’s Reference 2000(1) is interpreted by the Scottish legal establishment as ruling out any justification for damage to property, for whatever reason, including an attempt to prevent the killing of innocent people.

Trident Ploughshares comment:
“Are we to understand that if someone was aware of people boarding a plane with the intention of crashing it into the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, and that person damaged the plane to prevent it taking off, they would then not be able to use these circumstances as a defence in court? If this is the case the Scottish legal establishment has lost touch with basic humanity. We believe that a jury would be able to judge if Ulla’s actions were justified and are appalled that the High Court is preventing her from having a counsel to put her case forward.”

Trident Ploughshare press release


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  1. The law is an ass. — Aim Here


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