Boycott campaigners in court

Fife Today 15 January 2009

A group of pro-Palestinian campaigners accused of disrupting a performance by Israeli musicians in Edinburgh will stand trial in March, a court decided.

Note from SACC: A full trial is scheduled be held at the Sheriff Court, Chambers Street, Edinburgh on 9th March. An Intermediate Diet will beheld on 23 February

Four members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign are accused of committing a breach of the peace after speaking out during a show by the Jerusalem Quartet at the Edinburgh Festival.

The group - Kevin Connor, Niel Forbes, Vanesa Fuertesand Sofiah Macleod - deny the charge against them.

The four, all from Edinburgh, were due to go on trial at the city's sheriff court on Thursday but the case was put off until March 9 after a lengthy legal debate.

Sheriff Gordon Liddle decided to adjourn the case after three of the accused argued that they would like more time to prepare for trial.

Defence lawyer Aamer Anwar, representing Forbes, told the court he was trying to track down audio footage of the concert to help with the preparation of the defence case.

Fuertes, who recently decided to represent herself, asked for more time to get ready for the case, while MacLeod, who also appeared in court without a lawyer on Thursday, said she needed time to seek legal representation.

The Jerusalem Quartet was performing at the Queen's Hall as part of the Edinburgh International Festival on August 29 last year and the demonstrators are alleged to have disrupted the concert by shouting pro-Palestinian slogans.

They deny committing a breach of the peace and causing alarm to the performers and concert-goers.

Thousands of Britons have been involved in street demonstrations against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in recent weeks.