On 20 April, author Maya Anne Evans and PN editor Milan Rai were called to stand trial at Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court, London, for “contempt of court”.
At an earlier hearing on 10 April, when they were meant to have been tried for alleged offences under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005), the judge had refused to continue with the trial after the pair had refused to give their dates of birth.
Judge Newton sent the activists to the cells for an hour, and then, when they continued to exercise their right to silence, instructed them to return to Horseferry Road for a contempt of court trial to face up to a month in prison.
On 20 April, however, a different district judge told Evans and Rai that he could identify them without their dates of birth, and dropped the contempt charge. “I think the court couldn't find any legal power to make us give our dates of birth, and that's why they backed down,” said a relieved Maya Evans.
A new court date of 20 August has been set for their original “offence” of involvement in the unauthorised “No More Fallujahs” weekend of protest in London last October.
More SOCPA dates
Some of the “No More Fallujahs” organisers are planning a new peace camp in Parliament Square this summer.
In other news, the “Lakenheath 8” are on trial at Bury St Edmunds court on 6, 10 and 11 July 2007 for SOCPA criminal trespass (and criminal damage), at USAF Lakenheath last October.