Greta Thunberg: Case dropped due to 'lack of evidence'

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Greta Thunberg arrived at court on Thursday smiling as she made her way past photographers

Greta Thunberg and four other defendants were found not guilty of breaking the law when they refused to follow police instructions to proceed during a climate protest.

District Judge John Laws dropped the public order charge due to “lack of evidence” and added that police had attempted to impose “unlawful” conditions during the protest.

The 21-year-old activist was arrested during a climate change demonstration near the InterContinental Hotel in Mayfair on October 17.

The judge said that the conditions imposed on the protesters were “so unclear as to be illegal.”

He added that this means that “anyone who does not comply is not actually committing any crime.”

“civilized”

“It is surprising to me that no witness statements were taken from anyone in the hotel, about 1,000 people, or from anyone trying to get in,” he said.

He added: “There was no evidence of any vehicles being obstructed, no evidence of any interference with emergency services, or any danger to life.”

He said the protest was “peaceful, civilized and non-violent” and criticized evidence provided by the prosecution about where protesters should be taken, saying the only useful footage he received was “made by an abseiling protester”. .

“The law is not clear”

The court heard that protesters began gathering near the hotel in October last year at around 7.30am, and police co-operated with them on improving access for members of the public, which the prosecution claimed had become “impossible”.

The judge rejected the request because “the main argument was available (i.e.) that the condition… was not necessary when the defendants were arrested.”

Ms Thunberg appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court after previously denying breaching the 1986 Public Order Act.

She is accused of violating Section 14 of the law by blocking the hotel entrance.

Ms Thunberg appeared in court with two Fossil Free London protesters and two Greenpeace activists, who also pleaded not guilty to the same crime.

Oil executives were meeting indoors for an energy information forum.

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