UPDATED, 4 December 2017, 1.55PM.
UPDATED, 5 December 2017, 10.41 am, with links to all our reports from the trials (see below).
Justice John Reeves has rejected the Crown’s call for custodial sentences for the six Pine Gap Peace Pilgrims, sentencing them in the Federal Court in Brisbane today.
Right: Pilgrims Andy Paine, Tim Webb, Jim and Franz Dowling with supporters before sentencing, outside court in Brisbane. Source: Close Pine Gap campaign.
Instead, for their acts of non-violent civil disobedience, the Pilgrims have been fined between $1250 and $5000, with convictions recorded.
They had each been found guilty of entering the Pine Gap prohibited area, five of them on 29 September 2016, one on 3 October 2016. One, Andy Paine, was also found guilty of having a photographic apparatus in the prohibited area.
A gaol sentence might have made a martyr of veteran Catholic Worker activist Jim Dowling; Justice Reeves preferred to impose the heftiest fine upon him, of $5000. Mr Dowling could yet do time, however, as he told Alice Springs News Online that he would not pay.
Margaret Pestorious was fined $3500; Mr Paine, $2500; Paul Christie, $2000; and Franz Dowling and Tim Webb, $1250 each.
Left: Relieved, Paul Christie and Margaret Pestorious outside court in Cairns after sentencing. Source: Close Pine Gap campaign.
The six Pilgrims were prosecuted under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952, used only once previously, against the Pine Gap Four, who eventually had their convictions overturned on appeal.
All six are Queenslanders and returned there after the verdicts. Justice Reeves himself is a judge with the Federal Court in Brisbane, though from time to time he serves as an Additional Judge in the Northern Territory Supreme Court, as he did for the trials of the Pilgrims.
Four of the Pilgrims, Mr Paine, the two Dowlings, and Mr Webb appeared in person in Brisbane. Ms Pestorius and Mr Christie appeared by video link from Cairns. The sentencing was also relayed by video link to the Supreme Court in Alice Springs.
KIERAN FINNANE’S reports from the trials in reverse chronological order:
Five Peace Pilgrims guilty on all counts
Even if ‘unfair, unreasonable or too harsh’, it is still the law
No extraordinary emergency at Pine Gap: judge rules
Did Peace Pilgrims answer an extraordinary emergency?
Pine Gap’s role in drone warfare: former Senator, former PM
Strange encounters: the Peace Pilgrim and the Police Sergeant
Peace Pilgrims: evidence on why, not if they were at Pine Gap
Peace Pilgrims fight Pine Gap charges: their actions intended to defend themselves and others from imminent disaster
Guilty: unanimous jury verdict for Peace Pilgrim
Peace Pilgrim says he had permission to be on Pine Gap
Trial of Peace Pilgrim begins
Pine Gap’s nuclear role and the alternative by RICHARD TANTER
Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores by RUSSELL GOLDFLAM
Breaking the violence silence: at home, around the world by Chris Hawke and Joy Taylor