Court vs court

IssueMarch 2008
News by David Polden

On 7 February, the High Court upheld the right of a peace activist to summons a US airman alleged to have caused her actual bodily harm (and against two Ministry of Defence police officers who failed to intervene).

Lindis Percy of the Campaign for Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) entered Croughton USAF base on 19 February 2006 to carry out peace research into the military communications facility.

She reports that she was detained by US military personnel who handcuffed her, forced her face down on the ground, refused an instruction from MoD police to remove the handcuffs, and then, while the MoD police stood by, searched her, causing cuts from the handcuffs.

One US airman allegedly applied pressure to a nerve in her neck resulting in her suffering a facial palsy for six weeks. Lindis applied to Corby magistrates court to summons the three officers, but last March the court refused, despite a detailed bundle of medical and other evidence.

In the High Court, Mr justice Moses said of Corby magistrates' conduct: “I don't know what they were playing at”. Mr justice Sullivan added: “Their conduct is open to serious criticism.”

The decision not to issue the summons was quashed and expenses ordered against Corby Magistrates. Summons have since been issued, Lindis reports.

Topics: Anti-war action