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Nuns found guilty in missile break-in

Three nuns were found guilty on Monday of sabotage and malicious destruction of property for breaking into a US missile silo in northern Colorado last year in a peace protest.

One of the sisters, Carolyn Gilbert turned to the jury as the verdict was read and said: "We are not guilty under God's law and international law."

Another, Ardeth Platte, remained silent but made the sign of the cross as she looked at the jury of six men and six women. The third accused, Jackie Hudson, said they should never have been convicted.

The three peace activists who have worked as teachers, cut cables and drew a cross with their own blood on the lid of the unmanned Minuteman III silo near Greeley, Colorado on 6 October before they were arrested by military police.

US District Judge Robert Blackburn set sentencing for 25 July. The three, who are in their 50s and 60s and wore orange jail jumpsuits during their five-day trial, face a jail sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $A417.641.

The nuns called their actions a protest against war and said they were obeying President George W. Bush's call to dismantle weapons of mass destruction.

The jury did not accept the nuns' argument. "They had protested lawfully before. This time they didn't. Nobody in the US wants nuclear weapons, but you have to demonstrate lawfully," jury forewoman Terrah McNellis of Denver said after the verdict was announced.


US nuns go on trial for Military break-in (2/4/03)

9 Apr 2003