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Subject: Charges Dropped in 'the Public Interest'
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 04:35:40 -0700
From: "Terry Egan" <terryegan@mailexcite.com> Organization: MailExcite (http://www.mailexcite.com:80)

Merseyside East Timor Solidarity Campaign Tel (0151) 708 6506 c/o Archdiocese Justice and Peace Office, 152 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L3 5RG

Press Release For The Attention of The Newsdesk

All Charges Dropped Against BAe Protesters After Defence Lawyer Asks For ‘Flight Logs’ of Indonesian Hawk Jets.

East Timor campaigners were today celebrating as charges against 9 protesters were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS said ‘it was not in the public interest to pursue the case’. The nine, 3 Britons and 6 East Timorese refugees, were arrested in November last year after an all-night vigil at BAe’s Warton factory ( site where the Hawk Jet is made ) and charged with obstruction and trespass. The 6 East Timorese all of whom had refused to give their names, ‘in solidarity with the nameless dead of East Timor’, spent 16 days in Preston Prison after the arrest which took place on the Anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre. In a statement issued on behalf of the 9 Jan Harper, a 26 year old Liverpool woman and member of Liverpool Catholic Worker Community said,

‘British Aerospace do not want the issue of the use of these Hawk Jets to come under public scrutiny. They are aware that many East Timorese including some of my co-defendants can give eye-witness accounts of the Hawk being used in East Timor’.

Two years ago to the day 4 women were acquitted by Liverpool Crown Court of criminal damage having admitted to hammering an Indonesia bound Hawk Jet. They had successfully argued that they took their action to prevent the aircraft from being used in the continuing genocide of the people of East Timor. Over the past two years a total of 50 people have been arrested at the Warton factory and two of them have served short prison terms.

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