Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Pine Gap protestors to be prosecuted: may be gaoled for 7 years

legal actionPine Gap protesters to be prosecuted after Attorney-General gives go-pine-gap-1ahead  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-21/pine-gap-protesters-to-be-prosecuted/8290624By Tom Maddocks,  The federal Attorney-General has approved the prosecution launched against protesters who broke into top-secret military base, Pine Gap.

In September last year, six anti-war activists were arrested after they breached the perimeter into the joint US-Australian defence facility outside Alice Springs.

However, they were freed and the charges laid against the group were thrown out of court because police failed to gain the consent of the federal Attorney-General before the prosecution began.

At the time, Judge Daynor Trigg described the legislation as “nonsense” and said the police prosecution was “flawed”.

In documents tendered to the Alice Springs Local Court today, Attorney-General George Brandis gave consent to prosecute.

The protesters, who live in Queensland, did not appear in court but their defence lawyer, Russell Goldflam, said they would contest the charges.

The Commonwealth offence of entering a prohibited area carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.  The case will return to court next month and is eventually expected to head to the Supreme Court for trial by jury.

It is only the second time there will be a prosecution made under this act.

In 2005, four activists broke into Pine Gap and the matter proceeded to trial.

The group was convicted and fined but they appealed and the conviction was quashed and they were acquitted.

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February 22, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media

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