Wednesday, January 27th, 2010...20:24
All Charges Dropped Against Space Hijackers
Crown Prosecution Service drops all charges against 11 Space Hijackers for impersonating police officers.
Elated. Over the moon. Downing a stiff gin to celebrate. But shaking with anger at the drama I and my friends have had to endure over the past ten months. Many of us have suffered throughout this ordeal, a farcical attempt by the CPS and the City of London and Metropolitan Police to slap our wrists for exercising the right to protest.
There are many friends, family and colleagues (sometimes former colleagues…hint hint) who supported us. Thank you all. Really.
So it seems we have the option to continue with proceedings should we choose. Hmmn…. Would we like to continue with a vexatious prosecution that’s already cost the taxpayer thousands in legal and administration fees, and cost us a lot of undue upset in our lives? We were arrested in April, charged in July. We had our first appearance in court in autumn. We had pre-trial hearings, and even secured a Queen’s Counsel (there were a few in the queue tripping over their silks). Despite the police offering us cautions (and thereby admitting guilt) upon arrest, we refused. We took it to the line.
The CPS were playing a very expensive and annoying game of chicken with us. It’s a lot of effort to go through. The City of London and Metropolitan Police screwed up at the G20 – crowd kettles, baton charges and the matter of killing an erstwhile newspaper vendor who had no connection to the demonstrations other than it happened to be near where his mate works. They fucked up and were trying to make up for it. Our prosecution smacks of spreadsheet-led number crunching – there were 37 people charged over the G20 protests. 11 of them were us.
Michael Wolkind QC, who was briefed on behalf of all the defendants, commented “it was a great surprise when Keir Starmer, the DPP, took time off from the investigation of the death of Ian Tomlinson, personally to confirm the absurd decision to pursue this prosecution. His judgement has been exposed by the late decision to discontinue the case”.
It’s taking all my self-control not to dance in the streets, park an armoured personnel carrier outside Keir Starmer’s front door and sing “nyah nyah nyah”.
Corinthians. “When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things”. Shame the CPS, the DPP and the City of London and Metropolitan police didn’t learn this at Sunday school.
Here’s an extract from the letter from our lawyers informing us that we can get on with life:
“The Crown Prosecution Service has finally come to their senses and made the long overdue decision to discontinue your case. This means that the case is over, you are no longer on bail and no longer required to attend Court.
To quote directly from their letter faxed this evening at 17.41hrs: “The decision to discontinue these charges has been taken because there is not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. I have considered the statements that you have submitted and your Defence Case Statement and as part of our continuous duty of review I am not satisfied that a bench of magistrates’ or judge hearing the case alone, properly directed in accordance with the law is more likely than not to convict the defendants of the charges alleged.”
You have the option to revive the proceedings if you want the Trial to take the place although I’m sure that none of you will want this to occur….
Hodge Jones & Allen LLP”