Sunday, 3 February 2008


The Celtic League has written to the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall police, Stephen Otter, protesting against the treatment a member of the Kernow Branch who was arrested, but not charged on September 6 th 2007.

The Kernow Branch Member (KBM), who is not named for legal reasons, was called to answer police bail today for the first time after over four months. KBM was accompanied by several supporters to Camborne police station for 11am and at 4.30pm he was still being interrogated by the police.

KBM was one of several people arrested over the last few months in Cornwall, on suspicion of being involved with the Cornish Republican Army. A number of those people arrested have also been members of the Kernow Branch.

During the Celtic League AGM Kernow Branch Secretary, Mike Chappell, and KBM explained to other delegates the events on the day of his arrest:

"I was woken by my 94 year old father at about 7:20 on Sept 6th. I put my dressing gown on, and walked down stairs to see 3 police men in my porch way. They asked me to step outside, then arrested me for "possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear and harm"

I was taken indoors, and allowed to get dressed. I constantly pointed out that my dad needed taking care of. I told them the only "weapon" I possessed was a Katana, which is on my wall.

I was taken from the house and driven to Camborne (the DS driving didn't know the way to Camborne!), and put in a cell. I asked, and was given the codes of conduct.

Again, while in my cell I demanded that they make sure my dad was taken care of - they said he was. I found out on my release they had got my neighbour's teenage son to look after him! He, my dad, is 94,unsteady on his legs, has a heart condition, and easily upset at the best of times.

When the duty solicitor arrived I was interviewed (about 2pm), and told them I was a member of numerous Celtic organisations, and monitored a few websites. I said that I knew nothing of any damaged caused to any property, and was not involved in any illegal activity. After that I gave them the "no comment" bit. I was questioned about stoning Rick Steins house, making threatening phone calls, being in a picture and being a member of the CNLA, They showed me my camera , and a tiny amount of cannabis ( well below "personal use" levels that I use because of my ME). They seemed more concerned about the dope than anything else.

While I was there I asked a few times about getting my proscribed medication, but was never given it.

I was released at about 5pm with no money, and no way to get back to Falmouth. I had to track down a friend for a lift home. I was told they took 20 bags of evidence (I have not seen any receipt for these goods) Some stuff I KNEW they took:

2 St Pirans flags
Items of clothing
My filofax
My mobile phones
The John Angarak book "Our future is History"
All my software
My photograph CDs, and some computer games
Most of my music collection which was on CD
My USB memory stick from my wallet, along with my Blue tooth Dongle (there was also about £20 missing from it as well- but to try and prove that would be impossible)
My new digital camera given to me as an early birthday present (my birthday was the day before the arrest.
My cannabis

I'm sure other stuff as gone as well, but can't remember what."

To date none of KBM's possessions have been returned to him and as such has had to give up his voluntary job as website moderator, because the police took details of his passwords and usernames.

The Celtic League has written to Mr Otter expressing its support for the Kernow Branch in pursuing its activities through peaceful means and expressing its alarm at police treatment and harassment of its members.

(Article compiled for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot)

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It worksto promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on abroad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlightshuman rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses onsocio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

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