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Second Raytheon Nine acquitted
On 4 June, a jury at Belfast crown court found nine women not guilty of charges including breaking and entering into the Derry offices of arms manufacturer Raytheon during the 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza.
On 12 January 2009, Roisin Barton, Roisin Bryce, Elizabeth Doherty, Goretti Horgan, Diana King, Jackie McKenna, Sharron Meenan, Helen Reynolds and Julia Torrojo had intended to bring down Raytheon’s computer to highlight Raytheon’s supplying missile software to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
Instead they chained themselves to doors inside the offices in an attempt to force a criminal investigation into Raytheon, apparently agreed to by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Raytheon reduced operations soon after and fully closed its facilities in Derry a year later. The defence in court was that the IDF were guilty of war crimes in Gaza, aided and abetted by Raytheon, including by its facilities in Derry; and that the action was intended to prevent or delay these crimes.
This defence was apparently accepted by the jury. One man supporting the action was fined for spray-painting; another given a discharge for impersonating a police officer. Three others were acquitted for lack of evidence.
The first Raytheon Nine were men acquitted after a similar action in Derry in August 2006 (see PN 2499-2500).