Australian Christian anti-war activists appeal prosecution

By staff writers
February 21, 2008

In the latest twist to the long-running Pine Gap protest drama, a Christian anti-war activist is calling on the Australian Federal government to review the implementation of laws used to prosecute her.

In 2007, reports Australia's ABC, Donna Mulhearn and Adele Goldie were found guilty of breaking into the Pine Gap intelligence base in Central Australia back in 2005, along with two others. They were fined, but refused to pay on conscience grounds.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is also appealing the case because it wants a tougher jail sentence for the campaigners.

The two women were arrested last week when they arrived in Darwin for their appeal, which started in the Supreme Court on Wednesday 20 February 2008.

Ms Mulhearn says that she should have been charged with trespass, but was instead charged under more serious federal laws, reports ABC.

She declared: "It's an abuse of power and I think it's something Australians should be really concerned about, that four Christian pacifists are facing prison time for what was essentially a non-violent civil disobedience political action."

"We returned to the Northern Territory to attend the appeal of our case. After our trial last year, after we were given our sentences, the Department of Public Prosecutions made a decision to appeal the leniency of our sentences and they believe that we should spend significant time in prison," said Ms Mulhearn.

With thanks to Doug Hynd

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