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International law tested at Gloucester Crown Court

Oxford support group | 18.06.2003 15:12 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Oxford

PRESS RELEASE: At 10 am on Friday 20th June 2003 at Gloucester Crown
Court, a hearing is expected to decide if peace
activists can use international law as a defence.
Philip Pritchard and Toby Olditch [1], known as `The
B-52 Two', who are currently remanded to HMP
Gloucester, are charged with conspiracy to cause
criminal damage when they tried to disarm a B52
warplane at RAF Fairford in March 2003 [2]. Supporters
will gather outside the court for The B52 Two and six
other peace activists who are in court for similar

Barrister Tony Jenkins Q.C from Matrix Chambers and
another barrister acting for Toby Olditch and Philip
Pritchard respectively will argue that International
Law should have a bearing in the defence of the
accused. At the hearing the `B-52 Two' will plead not
guilty as they acted lawfully to uphold international
law. The judge is expected to set a timetable leading
to their trial - expected in the autumn. Phil and Toby
expect to be released from prison pending a bail
application at the hearing.

Toby Olditch said,
"The Government should be held to account for their
abuse of UK and International law. Liberation from a
brutal dictator would be better served by non violent
conflict resolution rather than bombing Iraq into

Philip Pritchard added,
"We intend to put Tony Blair and George Bush on trial
for their criminal behaviour."


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Editors Notes
The judge may reserve judgement in coming to a
decision about the applicability of international law
in this case.
Solicitor Mike Swartz of Bindman's Solicitors in
London is acting for them both.
[1] Phillip Pritchard, 32, a carpenter and
environmental education teacher and Toby Olditch, 34,
a marketing executive are both Oxford residents.
[2] In the early hours of Tuesday March 18, the two
peace activists were arrested as they approached a
B-52 bomber inside the airbase at RAF Fairford. They
intended to safely and openly hammer on the bomber to
prevent it taking off and bombing people in Iraq.
Cheltenham Magistrates Court remanded the two to
Gloucester prison on 19 March. They are charged with
conspiracy to cause criminal damage; going equipped to
cause criminal damage, and aggravated trespass. see for more details.

Picture Editors Notes
About fifty people with banners, including friends and
relations of the accused will gather on the steps of
Gloucester Crown Court at 9.30 am on Friday 20th June

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Display the following 2 comments

  1. brutal dictator? — Jaafer
  2. Correction — laura