Ratcliffe-on-Soar protestors launch appeal against conviction
TWENTY climate change activists who were convicted of conspiring to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station have today formally submitted their application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in London.
The move comes following revelations that critical evidence relating to undercover police officer Mark Kennedy was withheld from the activists' defence counsels and the court.
This led to Keir Starmer, the country's Director of Public Prosecutions, asking senior barrister Claire Montgomery to conduct an independent review into the safety of the convictions.
The 20 defendants were convicted after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in December of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at the coal-fired plant.
Six other activists, charged with the same allegation, walked free from court in January when their trial was abandoned when details emerged of the involvement of PC Kennedy.
The activists were arrested when police raided Iona School in Sneinton in May 2009 after an alleged planned to shut down the plant for a week.
In light of revelations from PC Kennedy, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has been asked by Notts Police to investigate claims that the case was dropped after the force "withheld" secret recordings made by Mr Kennedy, meaning police could not prove their case against the six.
The force is conducting its own investigation.
The 20 activists appealing their convictions issued this statement today: "Our case continues to demonstrate the state's consistency in putting the interests of unlimited growth and unfettered capitalism before the rights and needs of people and planet.
"Our story began with the largest pre-emptive arrest of activists the UK has ever seen back in April 2009, and has since seen a random selection of us dragged through costly legal processes.
"The resulting consequence was 20 of us being convicted and sentenced for a crime we did not commit.
"Today we formally launch our appeal against these convictions."
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