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Putting Arms Exports To Israel On Trial

UPDATE: Legal case and prisoners

Posted by anti militarist on July 3, 2009

Gratefully lifted from Bristol ABC! peace
‘Its been a while since we updated on the EDO Decommissioners, but there’s plenty of news. So read on, keep giving them your support, and do what they cannot actively do whilst on bail – confront the arms dealers profiting from wars and death’.

Remand prisoners & defendants updates
Robert Alford, who has been on remand at HMP Lewes, was granted bail at the last court hearing on 8 May. However stringent conditions were attached, essentially requiring him to go to a bail hostel, or similar supported location. Outrageously no bail hostel place was available, despite the efforts of supporters to find one. Eventually several weeks later, a family member was able to provide both a surety and some accommodation. So Robert has now been out on bail, but with a tag, for about 2 weeks. You can continue to write to him, c/o the EDO Decommissioners PO Box. Many thanks to all the anti-EDO campaigners and other activists in Brighton who have supported Robert so diligently.

Elija James Smith remains on remand, locked up now for 5 months, but is now back at Horfield prison. James has not previously requested bail, it is believed out of solidarity with Robert – he didn’t want him to be the only one left in prison. James was in court in Brighton on 2July and refused bail. This may mean James being in prison until the court case, applications for bail can only happen when there is a change of circumstances for a judge to consider.
Keep writing – Elija Smith VP 7551 HMP Lewes, 1 Brighton Rd, Lewes Sussex. BN7 1EA
The other 4 Bristol defendants are well, and are working on their defence case, despite the difficulties caused by their bail conditions. There are also 3 campaigners in Brighton who have been absurdly linked into the case by the state. Two of them faced stringent bail conditions that actually prevented them from living in their homes in Brighton. This punishment has now been relaxed, although they continue to be denied their rights to engage in protests.

The next monthly discussion & letter-writing meet of Bristol ABC will be held jointly with supporters of the EDO Decommissioners. So come along, find out more, and join us in writing letters of support, and letters of anger. Its on 8 July, from 7pm, at Kebele social centre.

James needs all the support he can get at the moment as it’s almost certain he’ll stay in custody until after his trial in October. Though it’s harder for him to prepare a defence in gaol he’s still resolute about being acquitted. So lots of letters please.

There are also a number of other ongoing cases related to the anti-EDO campaign in Brighton, and some of these have had positive outcomes recently. See the Smash EDO site for info on them and other aspects of the campaign.

Legal Moves
Although the defendants believed they had become rightly entitled to full legal aid after the judge allocated upto 10 weeks for the full court case, starting on 26 October 2009, it seems other arms of the state and the Legal Services Commission had other ideas. Attempts were made to deny them the legal aid, but fortunately we understand this matter has now been resolved in the defendants favour. So bring on all those expert witnesses and testimonies from eyewitnesses about the horrors of the war on Palestinians and the role of the arms manufacturers.


2 Responses to “UPDATE: Legal case and prisoners”

  1. solidarity said

    Hello, quick question. If i write James a letter without a return address on the envelope will the prison still give it him? Please let me know, I really want to send my thanks and solidarity but dont have a fixed address. Thanks.

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