Protesters are cleared of racism charge

CHARGES of racially aggravated conduct against five members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been thrown out by a sheriff.

Around 60 of their supporters burst into applause when Sheriff James Scott delivered his judgement at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Michael Napier, 63; Sofia Macleod, 39; Vanesa Fuertes, 35; Kevin Connor, 40; and Neil Forbes, 55, all of Edinburgh, were charged with having pursued a racially aggravated course of conduct which amounted to harassment of members of the Jerusalem String Quartet as they performed at the International Festival on 29 August, 2008.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sheriff Scott said it was clear the accused were engaged in political protest against the Israeli state and the Israeli army, concerning crimes allegedly committed by the army in Gaza.

The sheriff also stated that the protesters' comments had been directed at the state of Israel and Israeli army. The members of the quartet were not targeted as presumed citizens of Israel, but as presumed members of the Israeli army.

The Crown will appeal the decision.