Mulhearn considers appeal


Christians Against All Terrorism members Donna Mulhearn, Bryan Law, Jim Dowling and Adele Goldie, known as the Pine Gap Four, were found guilty on June 14 of breaching an archaic law — the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act (1952) — when they conducted a "citizens' inspection" of the US-Australian spy base at Pine Gap on December 9, 2005, to highlight its role in the Iraq war.

On June 15, Justice Sally Thomas imposed fines of $450-$1250 on the Pine Gap Four.

Speaking to Green Left Weekly, Mulhearn thanked supporters, especially Greens Senator Kerry Nettle, Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett and the Socialist Alliance. She also criticised the prosecution's use of the 1952 law, which provides for a jail sentence of up to seven years, as "inappropriate".

"Being given a fine, instead of a prison sentence, shows that its use was ridiculous." Mulhearn said she is considering appealing her conviction. "Although we were able to present a lot of evidence to the court, most of it was ruled out" when Thomas accepted the government's argument that evidence supporting the four's defence case — based on sections 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5 of the criminal code, which relate to necessity and self-defence/defence of others — was inadmissible to the jury.

The fact that the Pine Gap Four managed to walk unimpeded into the base, after warning the defence minister and the base's officials of their intention to do so, was simply a result of the authorities' incompetence, Mulhearn said.