Greenpeace members face tough sentence


GREENPEACE activists and an independent reporter face jail and swingeing fines for a protest at Cofrades nuclear power station.

The 17 people involved, including an AFP reporter covering the event, are charged with public order offences.

But those who took part said they acted individually and not to any preset plan.


The defence says they went to the protest, which ended with the motto Peligro Nuclear (nuclear danger) painted on a refrigeration tower, after receiving text messages but were not called by any particular group.

They also declared that they met no resistance and entered the grounds though holes in the fence, causing no damage. Claims they hurt a security guard with an electric saw are denied, with the defendants saying he was cut by barbed wire.

The accused face 32 month jail sentences and fines and damages of €360,000 for crimes including causing injuries and damage.

The prosecution includes the attorney general’s office, Iberdrola as owner of the nuclear station and security guards on duty on February 15, 2011 at the station.

Mario Rodriguez, head of Greenpeace in Spain, said at a press conference onboard flagship Arctic Sunrise that the group considers the requested penalty to be exaggerated and that he thought that the aim was to intimidate citizens to avoid protests.

“We’re facing the toughest case in Greenpeace’s history,” Rodriguez complained and added that although his group does not avoid the law, sentences should be kept in proportion.

He added that Greenpeace has been defending the environment though peaceful protests in Spain for 30 years, a right the Spanish constitution states in article 45.

Iberdrola representatives meanwhile declared that the case was not intended to open an environmental debate and explained that property was damaged and security guards were injured.

The Arctic Sunrise will remain docked in Valencia to show support until the court case ends.



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