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House of Lords Ruling Gags Peace Campaigners

Lord Bingham with four other Lords has turned down the appeal of 20 peace campaigners.The campaigners had argued that when they acted to prevent the w ar in Iraq by stopping USAF B-52 bombers leaving RAF Fairford in 2003 they were acting to prevent a \'crime of aggression\'.  The Lords ruling will prevent five campaigners presenting this as a defence at trial later this year. One of the campaigners, Philip Pritchard (who acted with Toby Olditch) from Oxford said: \"The Lords\' ruling does not state that the Iraq war is legal.  It simply gags campaigners who took direct action to oppose it.  \"Considering the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has stated that the war was illegal we feel we should at least be able to tell a jury why we believed it was too. \"We are disappointed but not surprised that the Law Lords have failed to make a stand for peace.  The horror in Iraq continues and it seems that the Lords were swayed by politics rather than justice.\"