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Ploughshares Trial Day 6

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Tuesday July 18, 2006 00:45author by justin morahan - peace people Report this post to the editors

Tense day waiting


The whole morning was given over to legal argument while the jury were asked to return at 2 p.m.
Late in the afternoon, Dr Jean Allain of Queen's University Belfast was called as a witness for the defence. Dr Allain studied law in Canada, Los Angeles and the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva where he researched the League of Nations., spent six months in The Hague, as a law clerk at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. One of his books is on International Law in the Middle East.

In evidence, Dr Allain said that after 1945 the UN established a charter that outlawed war. Henceforth war could take place only if the UN Security Council authorised it or if it was for self defence. Asked if, in his opinion, the war in Iraq(2003) was lawful under either of these two conditions, he replied "No - and that is not just my opinion". Resolution 1441 of the Security Council did not authorise the war. The Security Council uses "a trigger mechanism" in its resolutions which is always there if it is agreeing to the legality of a war. The mechanism is the phrase "by all means necessary".. Resolution 1441 did not use that phrase but decided to "remain seized of the matter" This meant that the power to go to war was not given (to the US and Britain)

Asked about the Bush doctrine of the legality of a pre-emptive strike for self defence he said that most international jurists disagree with this "doctrine". There is a international consensus among jurists on this - apart from conservative American authors.

When, in cross-examination, the Prosecuting Counsel Conor Devally asked if this issue had been tried in a domestic court in Ireland or Britain, the witness replied:
"I don't study domestic law", When a further similar question was asked there was an objection from Senior Counsel Brendan Nix who said that the Prosecution was attempting to give evidence by means of a question.

The jury was sent out again

After legal argument the witness agreed with Junior Counsel for the Defence, Muireann Brogan, that the UN Charter was different from the League of Nations in that the Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. (The League could only delay the issue of war).
Asked if Governments could be tried if they didn't follow these rules, he replied that in the 1980s the US was found, by the International Court of Justice, to have been in breach of international law. (Nicaragua versus the United States). Both countries agreed at the start that they would accept the outcome.
Asked what punishment applied when a country so breached the law, he said "In international law, there is no police force. . . you cannot put a State in jail. You can take only limited action."

Kathy Kelly was called to the stand very late in the evening but Defence Counsel asked for a postponement of her evidence until tomorrow.

The trial continues tomorrow at 10.30 a.m.

author by justin morahan - peace peoplepublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 00:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Apologies for errors and ommissions in the above.

author by Ploughshares Supportpublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 09:10author address At Large!author phone 087 918 4552Report this post to the editors

Ploughshares Trial Update Day 7 (J17)

They're in Court for Us, We're on the Loose for Them!
134 Phibsborough Rd. Phibsborough Dublin 7, Ireland
Ph. 087 918 4552 (mobile)+353 87 918 4552 (international)1)

1) Kathy Kelly to Testify Tuesday July 18th.10.30 am Court 23 Four Courts
2) Jeb Bush in Town (Dublin) Friday July 21 st.12 noon Conrads Hotel
3) LINK-Anti-War Prison Solidarity Workshop
4) International Solidarity at Irish Embassies & Consulates
* Belfast Vigil & Leafletting Ongoing at Irish Tourist Bureau
5) Further Photos, Reports & Debates Arising from Kathy Kelly/ Jimmy Massey meetings in Dublin, Galway, Cork & Belfast

6) July 22nd. David Rovics Benefit Gig
7) International Supporters Accomodation
8) Financial Support for Ploughhsares Defence Fund


Renowned peace activist brings truth to the courtroom


Death penalty enthusiast, brother of George Junior and possibly future Pesident of the United States of America, Jeb Bush, is coming to Dubin this Friday to speak at Conrad Hotel
hosted by Meteor. A variety of anti-war & human rights groups
are organising criticalreceptions. AY are hosting a noise demonstration at 12 noon
Conrads Hotel, Earlsfort Tce 12noon
Check lnk for map and more info

IAWM, NGO Peace Allaince & PANA kick off their protest at 12.30pm.



*Tuesday (J18) vigilling & leafleting continues once again outside the Irish Tourist Bureau in Belfast.
More info link below..

*Photos & report from solidarity vigil held outside the irish Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.

If you have friends travelling or living in other parts of the world. Approach them to stage a solidarity vigil on the first day of our trail at an Irish Embassy or Consul. Have them email us about their gathering'
The list of consuls & embassies, can be found on the link below.........
Related Link:


"How could you kill my...."
"Those words ring in my ears and haunt my dreams every night. Those words came from an Iraqi man after we shot into his car at a checkpoint near the Baghdad station. We had given a hand and arm signal to stop but they did not. There were four Iraqis in the car three of them were fatally wounded." - Former US Marine, Jimmy Massey.

Reports, Photos & Debates arising continued on

* Extra Photos from Dublin Meeting & Liverpool Catholic Worker Resurfaces!

More photos including one of a resurfaced Liverpool Catholic Worker. The Liverpool CW was born out of the trial & acquittal of the Seeds of Hope" Ploughshares trial in July '96.

The Liverpool Catholic Worker saw a community of CW's & East Timorese exiles sustain a rhythym of steady resistance at British Aerospace, Warton, Lancashirre where the "Seeds of Hope" disarmament of aBritish Aerospace (BAe) Hawk Fighter which had taken place Jan' 03 The Hawk was in Indonesian Air Force markings days from export to Indonesia in its genocidal war on the people of East Timor.

East Timor is now free of a genocidal Indonesian military occupation, expert witness at the trial, Jose Ramos Horte, is now East Timor's Prime Minister, the "Seeds of Hope" gather iin Liverpool for their 10th. anniversary.

The Liverpool CW faced a sustained backlash from the BAe corporation & British state that included high court injunction, arrests & infiltration by Lancashire Special Branch & a private intelligence corporation (that also ran 6 agents in Campaign Against the Arms Trade).
(See "The Damage Done Alan Fossey & the Liverpool Catholic Worker" as a subsection of

Before their understandable disintergration the Liverpool CW's produced a wonderful t-shirt inspired by a derogotory remark by the then Home Secretary Jack Straw at a Confernce on Prison "Scousers are always up to Something!" You betcha Jack! Later popularised by the punk rock director Alex Cox ("Repo Man", "Sid & Nancy", "Walker" "Highway Patrolman") on dodgy late night British TV & while making his latest film "Revenger's Tragedy. He later adopted the t-shirt as a signature for his film production company "Avenging Angel"
Continued on link below.....

"The Bull & Castle" (opposite Christchurch Cathedral" at the top of Dame St.)
5-7 Lord Edward St.
Christchurch D2
*ENTRY by donation


As we go into the second week of trial we are understandably losing a lot of our international supporters who have been working fulltime on trial support & understandably have to return home. 2 London CW's left last Friday, our 2 New York CW's are due to leave this coming Wednesday. Jimmy Massey leaves today (Tuesday). We grow more dependant on local support rising to the occasion.

*If you are planning to come to trial and need help with accomodation please mail
We can't guarantee accomodation if you turn up spontaneously, so please email us first if you need help with accomodation.

*If you are based in Dublin and can offer a bed or floor space to an international peace activist please mail us and state for which dates you can offer accomodation


You can do so by donating in the following ways.......
"Ploughshares Defence Fund"
134 Phibsborough Rd.
Dublin 7

Donations can be lodged at any
Bank of Ireland branch:
"Ploughshares Defence Fund"
Account No. 80965573 Sort Code 900551

*If you are in the U.S. and wish to donate, please make cheques payable to
"Kim Driscoll"
2400 Tuna Canyon Rd.
CA. 90290

More information

Related Link:
author by Liberty Bellepublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This afternoon was taken up with the question of what evidence can be presented to a jury. Briefly, lawyers for the defence made submissions that it was the jury's role to decide on the merits of the evidence and not the function of a judge to deny them that opportunity no matter his or her opinion as to the quality of the evidence. Obviously in order for the jury to do so they must be able hear the evidence first and so, it is argued, a judge ought to allow the evidence to be presented. Lawyers for the prosecution will reply tomorrow morning before the judge makes a ruling and the trial resumes with the jury present.

author by Coilín ÓhAiseadhapublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 21:18author email aat2004 at mail dot dkauthor address author phone 086 060 3818Report this post to the editors

"Asked if Governments could be tried if they didn't follow these rules, he replied that in the 1980s the US was found, by the International Court of Justice, to have been in breach of international law. (Nicaragua versus the United States)."

I take it that this "he" refers back to Dr. Allain, since Junior Counsel for the Defence, Muireann Brogan, is a woman. I note this because non-Irish readers might otherwise be confused.


PS: Hey, Liberty Belle! Welcome to Dublin! :-)
Will you get media coverage for the case Stateside?

author by justin morahan - peace peoplepublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 21:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The "he" does refer to "the witness" who is of course Dr Allain, replying to Junior Counsel Muireann Brogan.

author by Margaretpublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today (Wed) at 2.30 the judge will rule on the legal defense.
Closing arguments are set for Thursday and on Friday the jury will be instructed by the judge and sent out to reach a verdict.

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