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Mary Kelly's Re-Trial: Friday 29th 2pm Update: Sentencing Deferred until Next Friday

category international | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Thursday October 28, 2004 03:54author by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Please apply blinkers, bury head.

No Justice in County Clare: Harry Browne Counterpunch Article

Mary Kelly Vs The State Trial Updates: 6.20 PM Thursday 28th - Guilty Verdict - Jury 10:2

    "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligation of obedience. Therefore [individuals] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
    Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal 1945-1946.

"His insistence that the invasion of Iraq cannot be mentioned in testimony is actually contrary to the Criminal Damage Act, which takes a person's state of mind into account when they perform the so-called damage. If they are deemed to have an honestly held belief they were acting in the interests of others, then they cannot be guilty of criminal damage. Therefore, Mary absolutely must be allowed to explain her motivations in order for there to be fair trial."

"Lawful excuse" defense not allowed by hostile Judge
Judge Carroll Moran ruled today in Ennis Circuit Court that the use of Shannon airport by the US military and the war in Iraq are "not relevant" to Mary's case. Court report

Court Watcher "...the judge denied almost every witness that the defense attempted to call. Among the witnesses denied the stand were Mr. Denis Holliday a former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Daniel Einsberger of Pentagon Papers fame, Dr. Horst Gunther who uncovered the United States use of depleted uranium in Iraq, Mr. Edward Horgan a former UN Peacekeeper, and Dr. Curtis Doebbler an international lawyer..."

Relevance of evidence in first trial. "He [Judge Moran] ignored the defence testimony, directing the jury not to allow feelings or issues of conscience to influence them in making their decision. This extraordinary instruction, when the whole function of a jury is to act as the conscience of society in matters of law, is perhaps an indication of how profoundly the rosecution’s agenda had been shown up by the strength, clarity and truth of the defence.

Out of Sight out of mind There hasn't been an "immediacy clause" for the necessity defence Mary is using since 1997, when the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act amended the Criminal Damage Act (1991).

"In his ruling against Eoin Dubsky earlier this month in the same courthouse, J O'Donnell also leaped back in time to find him guilty because his defence under Section 6.3.c of the Criminal Damage Act ("Lawful excuse") wouldn't hold cause Iraq is so far away."

Question of the trial? Whats more dangerous knives, bombs or policy? Judge Carroll Moran cautioned Ms Kelly on sticking to relevant issues in her defence, he told her, that the defence of lawful excuse refers only to an action taken to prevent a threat to a person, their property, or other persons, but only when that threat was of an immediate nature. He gave the example of damaging the knife of a potential attacker, brandishing such an implement and went on to inform her, that the war in Iraq and the presence of a US plane did not impose an immediate threat to her or other persons when she damaged the U.S.A.F. navy plane

(from June 2003 court report) "The sage-like Ramsey Clarke (former U.S. Attorney General and longtime peace campaigner) testified for 30 minutes about the adverse effects of U.S. foreign policy, stating facts and figures about the effects of long-term low-intensity conflict in Iraq since 1991. He expressed deep concern about the sanctions, with at least 585,000 young children dead as a direct result of them. He also compared Mary’s action to somebody removing the bullets from a gun that would otherwise be used to kill someone. The prosecuting counsel strenuously questioned the relevance of Clarke’s testimony, and asked him the following question: “If someone broke into your house and did 1.5 million euros worth of damage, how would you feel?” Clarke replied that if his house was capable of complicity in the murder of innocents, he’d be actively offering invitations to people to come and damage it. Clarke was asked the question several times (apparently the prosecutor felt he hadn’t answered it), and gave the same reply each time. I am sure many bizarre questions are asked in courtrooms, but this one strikes me as similar to asking Rosa Parks “If someone sat in your usual seat in the bus, how would you feel?” Removal of context, universalizing of the particular, seems to be a tool used by empire time and again. And, because we all know that the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house (to borrow from Audre Lorde), all that a defence can do is to continually push the focus back to the context in which an action occurs."

June 2003: Hung jury doesn't satisfy state.
"Despite being effectively told to ignore their own human consciences, the jury couldn’t convict Mary Kelly for her efforts to undercut the U.S. war machine." Statements and Audio interview with Mary Kelly after initial trial.

Review of previous trials on Mary Kellys Website - Trial 1 June 03 - Trial 2 June 04 - Trial 3 October 04

author by Pinballpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So now its over..what next?

Seems that the 'Legal Experts' printing learned prose about 'the rights of international law overiding national laws' and deathless texts on 'lawful excuse' hit the buffers in the shape of an old fashoned biased Judge who wasn't having any of it.

Where now? Appeal, protests or what and who's going to pay for it?

author by Michaelpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sentencing is due in a week. Until then it's best not to do anything that might make it worse for Mary. Keep your (nonviolence) powder dry.

Mary Kelly has already said to the media that she wants to appeal, whether she does that by judicial review or plain old appeal is still unknown.

Best thing to do I guess is to contact Mary or her support team ( and ask them what help is needed right now.

No matter what happens in the American elections next Tuesday, US military flights related to the so-called "war on terrorism" will continue to pass through Shannon Airport unless we stop them.

Let's reflect on what has just happened, what we've been through, and what we've tried these past few years in Ireland. Then lets move forward...

author by Ruairipublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Look at what your movement has tried and move on. Move on indeed because all that has been achieved has been failure on every issue.

It's is amazing how many "legal experts" were banging on here during the course of this deluded woman's trial but the second she got the guilty verdict her idiotic actions deserved the whole process was a 'kangaroo' court.

The Iraq war was never going to be a valid excuse for a stupid act of vandalism on a transport plane. That plane had about as much chance of dropping bombs as most of you lot have of winning an argument or influencing an issue on any serious level. Feck all, in other words.

It's harsh, but it's impossible to feel sorry for Ms Kelly who has wasted her energies and that of others on this attention seeking stunt. As michael said, you must move forward.

Please do.

author by Michaelpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 16:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

% First, about the aircraft:
Soldiers, generals, weapons, explosives and all the other resources used for war fighting need to get from somewhere to somewhere else, wouldn't you agree? The aircraft which Mary grounded in January 2003 at Shannon Airport was a US Navy asset for transporting such resources. What exactly it was carrying that day we don't know -- the captain refused to produce a manifest for the court. Whatever it was, was important enough for them that they had a Hercules offload the cargo later that day and disappear into the sky. Just tires? Perhaps. Tires for cars? Not likely, you can get them locally. Tires perhaps for war fighting aircraft like the F16s which are based in Aviano AB? Who knows.

Mary Kelly's action kept that particular aircraft on the ground for the duration of the Iraq invasion -- with the help of the Pitstop Ploughshares. Besides however, their actions precipitated the pull out of three airlines carrying US military personnel and wares who had been using Shannon Airport. World Airways even cited these security breeches at the airport as their reason for switching to Frankfurt Airport. Thus putting greater pressure on fewer resources (Frankfurt can only take so many flights...).

% Second, about the law:
The law doesn't require you to act in a way that will stop the person or thing which you believe is threatening someone or something else. In this case, the invasion of Iraq. If you can mitigate the threat, buy some time for someone even just to get out of the cities where America was most likely to attack first -- that should be enough. It's like someone making a make-shift dyke from collected property to buy some time for an evacuation before a flood reaches their home or business or whatever.

If actions like Mary's could even just buy some time -- and perhaps they did, we don't know -- it was surely reasonable under the circumstances.

That's just concerning the "I did it to protect someone" defence which appears in the Criminal Damage Act. The other defence "I did it to prevent a crime or breach of the peace" at Section 18.1.e looks like it would require you to show the court how an open, accountable, nonviolent disarmament action could prevent or help prevent a crime. Once you've created some doubt at least in the prosecution's case (you don't need to show that for sure your action could/should have worked), you should be able to get off. Alas, this is of course only if the judge hasn't decided months ago to send you down.

author by Johnpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 16:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The opener for this thread say "His insistence that the invasion of Iraq cannot be mentioned in testimony is actually contrary to the Criminal Damage Act, which takes a person's state of mind into account when they perform the so-called damage. If they are deemed to have an honestly held belief they were acting in the interests of others, then they cannot be guilty of criminal damage. "

OK, in that case is it lawful for those who believe that abortion is murder to destroy abortion clinics? Please answer.

author by pcpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

damnit the nuremburg trial must have got it all wrong then

author by Michaelpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 19:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your query re abortion is a good one, and a lawyer asked me the same thing once when I was talking with her about this whole necessity defence business. If you damaged an illegal abortion clinic which you came across here in Ireland, and which the police were happy to ignore, you might be able to use the "small crime to prevent big crime" necessity defence (see Section 18.1 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act). To use the "break stuff to save someone" defence you'd be getting into the grey area of whether the unborn are people or not. Iraqis, all of them, are people.

author by pcpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 20:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

OK, in that case is it lawful for those who believe that abortion is murder to destroy abortion clinics?

one has to keep reminding the ourselves that it only property destruction and not actuall injury inflicted on people which is a whole different thing

author by Michaelpublication date Fri Oct 29, 2004 23:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Abortion clinics don't exist in Ireland cause abortion is illegal. Shannon Airport is awash with gunrunners and foreign fighters every week. Irish electronics and computers firms are producing wares for the same armies who are occupying Iraq and Palestine, and killing people still elsewhere. No need to make up imaginary situations. Pick your issue, stake out, and disarm!

author by King Amdopublication date Wed Nov 03, 2004 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...and it is by this mechanism of JAH LAW overriding state law that provides a not guilty plea for plowshares sometimes...and then of course it's a great victory...which in fact the apeal WILL BE.

cheeky freemason filth.

Blessed be,

Jah Liberation,

King Amdo.

author by Davepublication date Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... then presumably it is OK to invade a country to protect its people from a murderous dictator even if this contravenes law (i.e. UN law)?

Yeah yeah.... "Bush just wanted oil" etc etc.

The fact is, Saddam was a crazy murderous nutjob who hated the majority of his own people (like most dictators). We're better off without him.

Now... bush is also a crazy nutjob who hates the majority of his own people... but at least he got 60 million votes.

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