British court acquits factory saboteurs

In a disturbing development which has not been widely covered in U.K. media, a British judge and jury have acquitted a group of activists who broke into an arms factory near Brighton at the time of last year’s conflict in Gaza, smashing equipment and causing around £180,000 of damage.

The activists used the “lawful excuse” defense – committing an offense to prevent what they say was a more serious crime because EDO was “complicit in war crimes.”  (Jerusalem Post)

The court’s decision gives cause for concern, as it suggests that other anti-Israel actions of this kind may be similarly tolerated in future, and that persons and institutions perceived to be supporting Israel may not receive protection under British law.

Update (July 9): The JC reports that the judge in the trial said of the raiding group’s leader that “The jury may feel his efforts investigating the company merit the George Cross."

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