Outcry as CPS drops trial of anti-drone protesters at last minute


Company refuses to hand over evidence about its exports of weaponry to Israel

The prosecution of arms-trade protesters who occupied a British drone engines manufacturer has been dropped at the last minute, after the company refused to hand over evidence about its exports of weaponry to Israel, The Independent can reveal.

The nine demonstrators had been due to go on trial next month for aggravated trespass after they halted production during a sit-in at the Staffordshire factory of UAV Engines Ltd, a subsidiary of the Israeli defence giant Elbit Systems – one of the largest manufacturer of military drones.

The activists were arrested after they targeted the company at the height of last summer’s assault by Israel on Gaza, to highlight claims that British-made weaponry was being used by Israeli forces.

But charges against them were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service last week, just hours before a deadline expired to provide the defendants with details of arms export licences granted to UEL to send its hi-tech engines to Israel for use in the Hermes 450 – a drone widely deployed by the Israeli military. Although the drone was used in the Gaza campaign, UEL has insisted the version used by Israel’s armed forces is not powered by its engines.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/outcry-as-cps-drops-trial-of-antidrone-protesters-at-last-minute-10014839.html

Please keep comments brief (moderated for spam only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.