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socpa trial runs to a third day

rikki | 10.01.2006 18:08 | Free Spaces | Repression | London

the trial of four defendants arrested at parliament square on the 1st august 2005, the first day of enforcement of the new socpa law banning unauthorised protest around parliament, will continue tomorrow at bow street magistrates court.

so as not to predujice the trial i don't want to print anything about the individual cases. i will make a full court report at the end of the trial tomorrow or thursday.

so far, there have been several police witnesses, acres of police video evidence, as well as footage from the static cameras on the treasury building and the palace of westminster.

one of the defendants has decided not to give evidence. two others have given their evidence in court, and we are now hearing from defence witnesses. the trial ended today with charismatic defence witness and long-time campaigner, eric leavy, bursting into anti-war song at the end of his evidence, which brought a cheer to the room and a smile to magistrate nicholas evans' face (the first time in two days).

tomorrow among other defence witnesses we look forward to hearing from brian haw who has kept vigil outside parliament for nearly five years and who is now the only person in britain legally allowed to protest in the vicinity without prior authorisation. the last defendant will also be called and then the defence and prosecution sum-ups will be heard.

this could quite likely take us on into thursday.

in the meantime, the mystery of why the police picked these particular defendants is deepening. none of them have any affiliation with the stop the war coalition who called the demo. police have stated in court that they spoke to two named organisers from the stwc prior to the event asking them whether they were going to request authorisation. stwc speakers are clearly seen speaking on the megaphone in hours of police and fixed cam footage, and yet no-one from stwc was arrested.

there is also mystery surrounding a man who was seen being arrested by police but who has disappeared totally from the record and was clearly not charged - there is some concern as to his fate, or questions as to why he might have been released. see article yesterday for a picture and further information about this. (



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  1. Thanks for the reports — viewer