As many off you probably know 14 people (myself included) were arrested for at an anti privitisation demo at the Burlington hotel last October. The first full hearing came up today (March 13th) with the case of Rory Hearne from Globalize Resistence and the SWP.
I wasn't a witness so I got to sit through the whole thing and study the machinations of the capitalist justice system at district court level in great detail!
Firstly the Gardai tried to change the name of the charging Garda to that of the inspector on duty that day they had already added a new charge at the last hearing. The intention here was clearly to make a more general case against Rory. The judge ruled this was a material change bought in at the last minute and ruled it out (this actually may have been the turning point of the entire case). They then wanted to use a video seized off Rohan, another defendant. The judge ruled that as he wasn't there and the Gardai had no proof of who made the film or permission to use it that this was also in admissible. However (could be crucial for other cases) he did allow digital photos taken and printed by Andrew Flood of the WSM of Guards with sticks torn off placards to be used in evidence (several of these pictures are at www.indymedia.ie)
The Gardai had about 8 Gardai and Special Branch (political police) witnesses to construct a case that Rory had called for and led a charge at the hotel, that he called for an " angry and militant protest " and so on. His solicitor carefully questioned the cops and it soon became clear from several repeated errors in them that they might well have been agreed in advance. (This was like catching the unfortunate child who copies his home work from another weak student e.g. protestors "water is a public resort" instead of "resource" or that they all thought Joe Higgins was in the SWP, errors repeated in almost all the statements). The Garda evidence went on until almost 3 in the afternoon.
Then the solicitor pointed out that in fact there was only one statement relating to the arrest and that this had happened outside the hotel AFTER the major confrontation and baton charge. The arresting Guard said that he had intervened to help another Guard after Rory tried to pull the second cop away from making an arrest. How ever the arresting guard did not even know who THAT guard was and he wasn't present as a prosecution witness. When 2 independent witnesses AND a photo from the Irish Times showed clearly that at least 3 Guards, none of whom had been the supposed arresting guard, had grabbed Rory who wasn't doing anything at that time, it was clear that the prosecution were on a sticky wicket.
In dismissing the case the judge (sorry don't know the name but apparently he's one of the better ones in so far as any of them are "good"!) ruled that if the Guards were concerned with what had happened in the grounds of the hotel they should have charged the defendant on that basis. However he was only arrested for an alleged incident outside at the railings and this was the case he had to consider. So most of the day's evidence was irrelevant! As there were 2 contradictory versions and the state only had one witness to their version reasonable doubt existed and the case was dismissed
Also please not a benefit for the rest of the defendants which is unusual (IMHO) in being in a good venue and having 2 really great DJS!
Reggae DUB Roots - Selecta Dixi Jazz fm Deep groovy techno and electro - Eamonn Doyle (D1/Active Service Unit) Mono Wexford st downstairs Monday March 18th Euros 5/7 waged
[A Personal report from krossphader firstname.lastname@example.org, a Workers Solidarity Movement member, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]
and State shown up as liars-arrest political not
Rory Hearne reports to Irish indymedia
BURLINGTON CASE THROWN OUT OF COURT!
A Public Order Act case against an anti-globalisation protester was this afternoon dismissed at Dublin District Court.
Oct 11th - Gardai attack
globalisation protest at Dublin's Burlington hotel
A protest against an international privitisation conference at Dublin's Burlington hotel turned violent when the Gardai (Irish police) attacked protesters with batons. They were aided by a number of non uniformed men armed with sticks and torches
from the night
A number of photos loaded to the UK indymedia site
Dozens of background articles
Workers Solidarity Movement