Appeal update - Day Two, an unexpected surprise [21 Feb 2008|09:11pm]
THURSDAY FEB 21
A quick run down on what happened today in court:
Bryan was released from prison this morning, as expected. When we arrived at court we found him in good spirits enjoying a hot cappucino and toasted sandwich in the cafe. After 10 days of prison food, he was thrilled! He was in good form and very much looking forward to watching the appeal with us in the public gallery.
Ron Merkel QC, continued his submission on our behalf. He was as eloquent, persistent and convincing as ever.
Late morning there was an unexpected turn of events: The three appeal judges began to consider Jim’s position as the last defendent left in custody. They clearly wanted him granted bail and released but were unsure of their power to do it immediately. During the lunch break they investigated the matter. We were pleasantly surprised at their determination to see him freed as soon as possible. After the lunch break he was granted bail and able to walk free from the dock to the public gallery and later out the door with us!
Jim was not due for release until Monday. Hooray for that unexpected blessing!
The prosecution then rose to begin its argument against our appeal, which they will conclude in the morning.
We were all very pleased with the events of the day, especially the way Ron was able to advance his arguments to support the quashing of our convictions.
We head into the final day tomorrow….
More news then
Love from all in Darwin
PS: For those who have media contacts and/or post to blogs and websites, I will paste below our two latest media updates:
TWO MORE PACIFISTS RELEASED – UPDATE DAY TWO
Pine Gap Trial Appeal Update THURS 21 Feb 2008
In a surprising turn of events Jim Dowling of the Pine Gap Four was unexpectedly released from prison today in the Darwin Court of Appeal.
Mr Dowling, who was due to remain incarcerated until Monday 25 Feb, was released on bail pending outcome of the appeal. He was delighted to join friends and supporters in the court gallery at 3.15pm. Mr Bryan Law was also released this morning after serving his sentence of ten days in lieu of fine payment.
Meanwhile Mr Ron Merkel QC advanced strong arguments to quash the June 2007 convictions of the Pine Gap Four under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act of 1952.
Mr Merkel argued against a retrial saying it would be out of the question due to the costs already borne by the Australian public, the court system and the Pine Gap Four personally and financially.
"Enough is enough", he said.
Mr Paul Usher for the DPP began his case but told Justices Martin, Angel and Riley that he was also awaiting further instruction from Director of the Commonwealth DPP, Mr Chris Craigie SC, who was unable to be reached this afternoon.
The appeal continues at 10am tomorrow (Friday 22 Feb).
For more information or interviews with the Pine Gap Four, contact Katie McRobert 0408 468 992
PINE GAP TRIAL APPEAL - UPDATE Day One
Thurs 21 Feb 2008
The appeals of the Pine Gap Four began today with Mr Ron Merkel QC successfully applying to exclude the Commonwealth legal team on the grounds that the Commonwealth and Crown's interests in this case "are identical" and that Commonwealth intervention in the matter was an unnecessary intrusion.
Five of the seven DPP lawyers were then excused from the courtroom.
The remainder of the day was taken up with lively - though intricate - judicial discussion of the extraordinary use of the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952, led by Mr Merkel.
The trial continues today (Thurs 21 Feb) with the appeal against the June 2007 conviction. It is expected the DPP's appeal against the leniency of sentencing will be heard either this afternoon or Friday morning.
The mood of the Pine Gap Four (Donna Mulhearn, Bryan Law, Jim Dowling and Adele Goldie) is positive. Mr Law will be released from prison this morning, and Jim Dowling will remain in jail until Monday 25 Feb.
For further information or interviews with the Pine Gap Four, contact Katie McRobert 0408 468 992