8th February 2006
EMBARGO : FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Andrew Beckett or Sarah Johnson
CIA 3 CASE DISMISSED AFTER JUDGE ORDERS HANDOVER OF
A criminal prosecution against peace protesters was
dramatically dropped yesterday because the Crown
Prosecution Sevice did not want to to disclose secret
information that a Judge had ordered would assist the
defence and they should see.
Three anti-arms trade activists were on trial in
Brighton Magistrates Court for refusing to disperse
under a Section 14 order at a Weapons Inspection at
Brighton bomb-makers EDO MBM last year on March 21st.
The theatrical protest took place on the second
anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on March 21st
2004.An expert witness was to be Mark Thomas,
political activist/comedian/writer who was to testify
on the great tradition of theatrical protest for the
The trial was delayed Monday over legal arguments
about disclosure of 'sensitive police material' that
the protesters said would assit their case. The CPS
had not been carrying out their duty to disclose
police information in the case since the arrests in
March 2004, the defence team argued.
After lenghthy ex parte discussion between the CPS and
District Judge Cooper, the Judge finally ordered that
information about the police operation-codenamed
'Kirk'- of 21st March 2005 be made public as it might
assist the defence argument of police collusion with
the arms company EDO in trying to supress protests at
Tne Crown had argued that the documents should be
protected from disclosure under Public Interest
Immunity (PII) rules, which are used protect security
of police informers and undercover officers as well as
police operational tactics. But Judge Cooper ruled in
favour of disclosing the documents. At which point the
CPS prosecuter stood up and announced the case would
be dismissed against all three protesters. This
stopped the public disclosure of the documents go
Smash Edo spokesperson Andrew Beckett said 'What
information could be so controversial that a case that
has dragged on for nearly a year should be dropped as
soon as it might be made public. What are the police
trying to hide about their relationship with the
In paralel civil injunction proceedings brought by
bomb makers EDO in the High Court, protesters have
argued that the injunction action is the result of
collusion between Sussex Police and EDO to stop
protests at the factory.
A key witness in the Civil proceedings is Chief
Inspector Kerry Cox, who worked closely with EDO last
year to support the High Court application for an
interim injunction against protesters. It emerged this
week that CO Cox had been the commanding officer in
The latest criminal case dismissal means that now
five cases that were being relied on by EDO's lawyers
to justify allegations of harassment against their
employees have now been won by protesters-seriously
damaging even further the arms company's case for a
permanent injunction against protesters.
In addition EDO's lawyer solicitor-advocate Tim-Lawson
Cruttenden faces serious allegations of misconduct,
and professional negligence that he has been ordered
to employ a barrister to defend himself against next
week in the High Court resumed hearing of the the
Civil injunction case.
The defendants have applied to have the case struck
out on grounds of abuse of process. EDO are
desperately trying to settle the case with the
before the hearing next week.
EDO HIGH COURT INJUNCTION HEARING
Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London. 10:am.
Monday 13th Feb-15th Feb 2006
EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton.
Naming the Dead
We will be up at EDO MBM naming some of the dead from
the illegal attack on Iraq - bring bells to toll for
each lost life as we remind EDO that such killings
would be impossible without all the people 'just doing
their jobs' that make it possible for the person
pulling the trigger to do theirs.
Notes for Journalists
Brighton & Hove is a UN Peace Messenger City
The injunction referred to was served under the 1997
Protection from Harassment Act (originally designed to
protect women from stalkers) and is the first of its
kind directed at activists outside of the animal
rights movement. Crucially it is a civil injunction
but carries criminal penalties. It affects anyone
deemed to be a protestor. Initially EDO/MBM requested
a large "exclusion zone" comprising the whole of Home
Farm Industrial Estate.
They and Sussex police also wanted to limit
demonstrations to two and a half hours, with less
than ten people who had to be silent. Judge Gross
refused to impose these conditions at the initial
hearing of an interim injunction, which was put in
place in the period before the full trial to be heard
In his summing up he said, "The right to freedom of
expression is jealously guarded in English law" and
consequently refused to impose the requested limits on
size, timing or noise made at demonstrations. He also
said that he doubted that protesters were 'stalking'
employees of EDO MBM.
EDO MBM Technologies Ltd are the sole UK subsidiary of
huge U.S arms conglomerate EDO Corp, which was
recently named No. 10 in the Forbes list of 100
fastest growing companies. They supply bomb release
mechanisms to the US and UK armed forces
amongstothers. They supply crucial components for
Raytheon's Paveway guided bomb system, widely used in
the "Shock and Awe" campaign in Iraq.
EDO also withdrew a threatened libel action against
Indymedia over being named as "warmongers".
Lawson-Cruttenden & Co
Solicitors firm working for EDO have been instrumental
in developing the Protection of Harassment Act 1997
from a measure designed to safeguard individuals to a
corporate charter to make inconvenient protest
illegal. Theyhave pioneered to use of injunctions to
create large "exclusion zones". They have secured
numerous injunctions against anti-vivisection and
Campaign against EDO MBM
People involved in the anti-EDO campaign include, but
are not limited to: local residents, the Brighton
Quakers, peace activists, anti-capitalists, Palestine
Solidarity groups, human rights groups, trade
unionists, academics and students. The campaign
started in August 2004 with a peace camp. It's avowed
aim is to expose EDO MBM and their complicity in war
crimes and to remove them from Brighton.