Outside Thames Magistrates’ Court today
French company Magforce International instructed Ian Morley QC to represent them. Ian Morley QC specialises in war crimes, which shows Magforce are taking the matter seriously. Chinese company Tianjin Myway, which is a much smaller company than Magforce, did not show up at the court or send legal representation. It was decided in court today that the next substantive hearing of this case will be on 26 November 2014 at 9.30am in Court 5, at Thames Magistrates’ Court. The next hearing will consider the legal arguments, and possibly will include the trial itself (it depends on how the legal arguments go).
Please keep checking this page or our social media for further updates, and details of our upcoming fun-raiser!
Whilst the arms trade continues, we’ll keep campaigning and opposing it with all the means at our disposal.
This Thursday 24th April the two international arms companies we are privately prosecuting – Tianjin MyWay and Magforce – will face their first hearing, accused of promoting illegal torture weapons (stun batons, stun guns and fetters) at last year’s DSEi arms fair.
Various illegal weapons have been discovered at every DSEi arms fair since 2005, including electro-shock weapons, weighted fetters, cluster munitions and anti-personnel landmines. The state (which heavily subsidises and jointly hosts the arms fair) has so far made no effective intervention. Please join us (at the same court we ourselves were due to stand trial in for disrupting last year’s arms fair) as we take this rare opportunity to hold the arms companies accountable for their actions.
We are not merely opposed to ‘illegal’ weapons at the arms fair, we are against the arms fair full stop and everything it represents: the corruption, the human misery, and the profiteering by a narrow elite at the expense of people and planet. We see this private prosecution as a further step towards meeting our objective of discrediting and then stopping the DSEI arms fair for good.
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ARMS DEALERS ON TRIAL
A group of women arrested at the DSEI arms fair in 2013 have begun private prosecution proceedings against arms companies who exhibited illegal weapons at the fair. French company Magforce International and Chinese company Tianjin MyWay International Trading will be summonsed to appear at Thames Magistrates Court to answer information about alleged crimes including the unlawful promotion for sale of leg irons, electric stun batons and electric stun guns. Because these weapons are likely to be used for torture (that is in fact their sole purpose), weapons like these are illegal to sell or promote in the UK without a licence. We commissioned a firearms expert to tell us about the weapons which you can read here.
On 11 September 2013 Caroline Lucas MP asked questions in Parliament about unlawful promotion of weapons at DSEI and organiser Clarion Events ejected the companies, admitting that their ‘compliance checks’ had again failed.
Following repeated attempts by our lawyers at disclosure regarding the nature and extent of the authorities’ investigation into breaches of law at the arms fair, most of our trial group’s criminal prosecutions were dropped. This week, we commenced our own private prosecution proceedings against the arms dealers.
We want to make clear that we are not merely opposed to ‘illegal’ weapons at the arms fair, we are against the arms fair full stop and everything it represents: the corruption, the human misery, and the profiteering by a narrow elite at the expense of people and planet. We see this private prosecution as a further step towards meeting our objective of discrediting and then stopping the DSEI arms fair for good.
Please support us in this campaign and spread this message.