[Corporate Watch News]
On December 23rd, 4 out of 5 activists on trial at Winchester Crown Court were found guilty of 'Conspiracy to Blackmail' at Winchester Crown Court after a 3 and a half month long show trial. The world's media, prompted by police press officers, were quick to condemn activists by pointing to harassment against the employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) and their customers, shareholders and investors. Actions against HLS, not linked to those convicted, such as hoax bombs, letters alleging paedophilia, and threats were pointed to as evidence of the defendants' extremism. Police spokesmen and the National Extremist Coordination Unit (NETCU), the branch of the police set up to deal with the AR movement and other expressions of the public's dissent, hailed the convictions as a victory. (For more information on NETCU see www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3179 and http://netcu.wordpress.com/.
What was not examined in the media was the worrying development of the repressive use of the law which lead to the conviction of the four defendants.
Corporate Watch has followed the progress of the trial at Winchester since the beginning. ...