Thursday, 28 February 2008

Hart unbroken

Now that the Devon and Cornwall police have stated that no further action will be taken against singer Graham Hart (see article below) the man will be able to get on with his life. I was encouraged to read that Hart will “continue even more robustly now, to gain recognition [for Cornwall] through sport and my music until we are accepted” and the police hadn’t broken his spirit.
One of the songs Hart wrote, “CNLA”, has unfortunately been taken off You Tube since his arrest, which is a shame because it was very funny indeed. No doubt one day soon it will be uploaded back onto the site.

We mustn’t forget that there is one more person, of those four arrested in September 2007, who still has to answer bail in March. Watch this space for further news.

Source: This is Cornwall
Author: Julian Ridge


28 February 2008

The nightmare is finally over for one of Cornwall's best known entertainers who was arrested by armed police investigating alleged terror plots against celebrity chefs .

Singer/songwriter Graham Hart (left), from Camborne, was one of four men taken into custody by detectives last September. It followed threats by a group calling itself the Cornish National Liberation Army (CNLA) against Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Fifteen, at Watergate Bay, and one of Rick Stein's businesses.Because his music is closely associated with the Cornish Pirates Rugby Club, fearing he might bring the side into disrepute, Mr Hart felt unable to speak out about his ordeal until police had completely eliminated him from their inquiries.

He said: "At 7.40am on Thursday September 6, 2007, I was arrested by a 14-man armed police unit for 'being in possession of a firearm with intent to threaten or use violence'.

"After being ordered from my bed and handcuffed, I was taken to Camborne Police Station, held for nine hours and released on bail.

"On returning home, my wife, Sonia, who was as totally shocked and traumatised as me, informed me that they had searched throughout our house and had taken away computers, data discs, paperwork, family DVDs, Cornish books and many other personal belongings that have only now been returned, causing us enormous inconvenience. I was outraged.

"I was accused of being a member of the so-called terrorist group, the CNLA, and was shown a photocopy from an article in The Sun displaying a picture of a man wearing a balaclava and holding a machine gun. The police informed me they had reason to believe I was that person.

"Some four months later, on January 16, 2008, I returned to Camborne Police Station and was held for a further six hours before being bailed until March 6. I was informed on Saturday, February 8, that I have now been released and no further action will be taken.

"The pressure on me, and particularly on my wife, has been enormous," said Mr Hart. "It's the end of a nightmare."

Mr Hart believes he was arrested because he is a self confessed "Cornish national" - not a Cornish nationalist - who has campaigned for Cornwall to have a place at the Commonwealth Games. He says on Monday he had been due to go on hunger strike until Cornwall was accepted into the Commonwealth Games Federation, but decided his family had been through enough stress already.

He said: "I campaign for the recognition that Cornwall's people crave in order to protect our unique culture and identity and, in this instance, to celebrate it through the wonderful medium of sport. We are a Celtic country and a Celtic nation like Wales and Scotland, as stated in the laws of this land, and I will continue even more robustly now, to gain recognition through sport and my music until we are accepted."

Mr Hart says he bears no ill will towards the police - only to the 'man at the top' who gave the order. "Officers were only doing their job. Their behaviour and attitude towards my wife and I was exemplary at all times," he said.

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