16 October 2001
Two British Activists And A British Freelance Journalist To Return Home Before November Star Wars Trial
A Judge ruled today that nine Greenpeace protestors and one freelance journalist, facing felony charges stemming from a peaceful protest against a missile defence test in California on July 14th, can travel home before returning to Los Angeles for trial currently set for November 20, 2001.
The two British Greenpeace protestors, Bill Nandris from London and John Wills from Guernsey along with freelance journalist Steve Morgan from Somerset, had been previously restricted to the Central District of California along with six other defendants since July 14th.
"It has been too long and I am looking forward to seeing my friends, family and the people who have supported me," said Bill Nandris from London. "However, I am also looking towards my return here and having my day in court when my integrity will become public record."
The Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by the F.B.I. near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California following a peaceful protest against the controversial missile defence program. All 17, including the journalists were charged with conspiring to violate a safety zone- a class D felony with a maximum six-year prison term and $250,000 fine. They were also charged with entering military property without permission- a misdemeanour with a 6-month maximum sentence and $5,000 fine.
While the six defendants from the United States were given immediate bail, the international defendants had their passports seized and all but one had their travel restricted to the central district of California. The other international defendants are from Australia, Canada, Germany, India and Sweden.
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS LIFTED FOR GREENPEACE ACTIVISTS AND FREELANCE JOURNALISTS
International Defendants Can Return to Home and Family Before November Trial
LOS ANGELES, CA – A
Judge ruled today that nine Greenpeace protestors and one freelance
journalist, facing felony charges stemming from a peaceful protest against
a missile defense test in California on July 14th, can travel home before
returning to Los Angeles for trial currently set for November 20, 2001.
Since July 14th the nine defendants have been restricted to the Central
District of California.
(See: International Protest against Star Wars Continues - July 15, 2001;