|Issue 7 - July 1972|
|The trial of
the Stoke Newington 8 for conspiracy goes on. The prosecution has promised
to finish its case by the end of July so that Judge James can go on
holiday in August! Meanwhile the straight press takes little notice
- and the Left has rallied little more than it did in the Purdie /
The trial is still keeping the jury awake - largely, I felt, because those of the 8 defending themselves speak everyday language, and cross-examine / attack the witnesses in plain terms. In fact the informality of the court is most important for the 8, who are trying to break down the barriers between themselves and the jury. The constant toing and froing, passing of notes and talking is good to see.
Yet it is still clear that each side - the police and the defence - is accusing the other of conspiracy. The Special Branch have been the most difficult witnesses. All their methods, all the inconsistencies in their evidence, the conflicts with expert evidence, cannot be cleared up because the information is 'privileged' or they 'cannot talk about that'.
The defence keeps pointing out that this implies that a lot of Special Branch work is secret and illegal - keeping in the jury's mind the question: 'whose conspiracy?'
So the SN8 fight on.