Dutch Greenpeace Men Jailed For Nuclear Waste Pipe Attack
LONDON (AP) _ A judge on Friday handed down three-month prison sentences for two Dutch members of the Greenpeace environmental organization for cutting a pipeline of a nuclear fuels company.
High Court Judge Peter Crawford ruled that Johannes Guyt and Willem Beekman had committed ″calculated and deliberate″ breaches of an order restraining interference with British Nuclear Fuels PLC pipelines at Sellafield on the northwest coast of England.
The judge said both men were on the Greenpeace ship Sirius in the Irish Sea last June when its divers cut the hole in an effort to stop the company’s nuclear fuel reprocessing plant from discharging waste into the sea.
″In my judgment breaches of this kind can be met only by sentences of imprisonment,″ the judge said.
But Crawford said both defendants had ″honestly held″ views and had chosen to make what they regarded as a symbolic gesture.
Guyt is 35. No age was available for Beekman, who was not in court.
The prosecution said Beekman was captain of the Sirius during the enterprise last June and was now at sea.
British Nuclear Fuels failed in a plea to hold in escrow the property and finances of Stichting Sirius, the Netherlands charitable corporation that owns the Sirius.
Robert Phillips, the company’s spokesman, said a separate action for damages is being brought against Greenpeace. The company denies the organization’s claim that the waste pollutes the Irish Sea, threatening the health of the communities around it.
Martin Leeburn, Greenpeace spokesman, said: ″British Nuclear Fuels have pumped half a ton of plutonium into the Irish Sea and consistently refused to install technology which would virtually end the discharges.″