Celebration as judge acquits anti-nuclear campaigners

By staff writers
November 15, 2009

Four anti-nuclear activists who took part in a mass protest at the Aldermaston nuclear base have been acquitted by a district judge at Reading Magistrates' Court.

The four individuals were accused of obstructing the highway on 27th October 2008, but the judge, Peter Crabtree, ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove that they were even on the highway, let alone obstructing it. The defendants successfully argued that the blockade took place on Ministry of Defence land and did not significantly affect the public traffic flow.

However, the judge did not accept the defendants' argument that the Atomic Weapons Establishment was itself engaged in unlawful activity.

The defendants were all awarded costs by the judge. They are: Jean Oliver from Lanarkshire in Scotland, David Polden and Emma Sangster, both from London, and Renate Zauner from Switzerland.

“Despite all the concern about nuclear proliferation and talk of a nuclear-free world, this government is developing a new generation of nuclear weapons” said Emma Sangster at the time of the trial, “I believe we all must do what we can to stop this process.”

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