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Raytheon 9 - preliminary hearing 5 June, charges reduced
anti-war / imperialism |
Thursday April 05, 2007 20:02 by Virgil Tibbs - Derry Anti War Coalition
The Raytheon 9 appeared in court again this morning. Their lawyers got an indication that the state was ready to proceed. The earlier charge of 'aggravated burglary', a scheduled offence under the Terrorism Act, will not be pursued. Instead, the charges are those of 'affray', and two counts of 'criminal damage'. The case will be heard before a jury at the Crown Court in Derry, but not before the autumn.
The next stage is a Preliminary Enquiry, at which the Prosecution present the charges to be pursued and outline the evidence. This will be on Thursday 5 June 2007, at Bishop Street Courthouse in Derry.
The Derry Anti War Coalition is organising a mass rally outside the courthouse on that day, calling for the charges to be dropped and urge everyone to begin making plans to come to Derry for that day .
The Raytheon 9 were in court again this morning .
Before the hearing, their lawyers got an indication that the state was ready to proceed and that the charge of 'aggravated burglary', which was a scheduled offence under the Terrorism Act, would no longer be pursued.
Instead, they are to be charged with 'affray', which can also be a scheduled offence, but in this case it is to be descheduled. They will also be charged with two counts of 'criminal damage'.
This means that the case will be heard before a jury at the Crown Court in Derry, probably in the autumn, at the earliest.
The next stage is a Preliminary Enquiry, at which the Crown Prosecution Service present the charges to be pursued and outline the evidence. The police are saying that they are still processing 150 witness statements (!!!). It is not clear who these witnesses might be, though there were a lot of police outside by the time the arrests were made.
The Preliminary Enquiry will be on Thursday 5 June 2007, at Bishop Street Courthouse in Derry.
The Derry Anti-War Coalition (DAWC) will be organising the biggest possible rally outside the courthouse on that day, calling for the charges to be dropped, as it may be the only opportunity this year to demonstrate support for the Raytheon 9. DAWC urges anyone connected to anti-war groups in other parts of the country to begin making plans now to come to Derry for that day - it will mean booking some time off work - and spread the word about it.
DAWC plans to relaunch the statement of support (in a more concise, easy to use form and listing all those who have supported us so far) in the next week, so that it can be used to build support for the 5 June rally especially. They aim to send it to every councillor, TD, MLA, MP, trade union etc in ireland and further afield. Suggestions for particular people in your area who might sign it, should be passed on to DAWC e.g. via http://raytheon9.org/.
The Cork Against War group are putting on a fundraiser for the Raytheon 9 on Thurs 19 April.
Next meeting of the Derry Anti-War Coalition will be on Monday 16th April in Mason's Bar at 8pm, to make a start on organising the rally for the 5 June.