Rockhampton jury reaches verdict in Tiger Helicopter trial
After three days of hearings and deliberation, a Rockhampton jury has found Graeme Dunstan guilty of wilful damage to Commonwealth property. Sentencing is expected to take place at 2:30pm this afternoon.
After two days of hearings and a morning of summary arguments, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision, with two of the ten jurors unconvinced of Mr. Dunstan’s guilt. The jury then reviewed evidence presented during the trial and reconvened to later bring forth a unanimous guilty verdict this morning.
Despite the guilty verdict, Mr.Dunstan remains positive stating “We were successful in putting war on trial.”
Sentencing is expected to take place at 2:30pm this afternoon. Judge Nick Samios has indicated that a custodial sentence is unlikely.
Reverend Simon Moyle (R) appeared as a witness for Mr. Dunstan (L)
After two days of hearings and a morning of summary arguments, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision, with two of the ten jurors unconvinced of Graeme Dunstan’s guilt. The jury then reviewed evidence presented during the trial and reconvened to later bring forth a unanimous guilty verdict this morning.
Some background: Mr Dunstan supported pacifist Bryan Law, now deceased, in an action of disarmament in 2011 during the Talisman Saber US- Australian military exercises.
The jury had been shown footage released by Bradley Manning of a US helicopter killing civilians in Iraq. A closed military court has just demoted Mr Manning and sentenced him to 35 years and dishonorable discharge for releasing the footage – now known as the “Collateral Murder” footage, which clearly exposes war crimes committed by the US military. Despite the severity of the military court sentencing, Mr Manning has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his actions. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-27/bradley-manning-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize/3855944)
The jury viewed the footage, and heard related testimony from Australian peace activist Donna Mulhearn who had traveled to Iraq as a “Human Shield” in 2003. Reverend Simon Moyle also gave testimony about both christian pacifism and the Ploughshare movement and his personal experiences in Afganistan.
Footage released by Bradley Manning via WikiLeaks and shown in court in Rockhampton can be seen here:
Photos outside Rockhampton Ploughshares Trial rmembering those killed in the Collateral Murder footage and those who took the risk to release it are availble on the Peace Convergence site: https://peaceconvergence.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/day-3-tiger-ploughshare-trial/
PRESS CONTACT in Rockhampton: Simon Moyle mobile/cell ph. no. 0402 857 915 or Treena Lenthall 0447 851 858
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