A judge who compared Israel to the Nazi regime in the Hove Crown Court trial of seven anti-war campaigners has been formally reprimanded.
Judge George Bathurst-Norman made the comparison in a case where seven Smash EDO activists were cleared of plotting to damage a Brighton weapons factory.
... his comments were offensive, one-sided and unbalanced.
The Office for Judicial Complaints said the judge had been reprimanded ...
Judge Bathurst-Norman declined to comment.
The Office for Judicial Complaints issued a statement which said:
"...A number of complaints were made about some of the observations he made during the trial and summing up...An investigation found that a number of these observations did not arise directly from the evidence at trial and could be seen as an expression of the judge's personal views ..."
...the judge had been presiding over the case of campaigners alleged to have caused criminal damage in 2009, after breaking into the EDO MBM Technology building in Moulsecoomb that manufactured weapons components for Israeli fighter planes.
The defence by campaigners from Smash EDO was that they had been protecting property in Gaza from being damaged by the Israeli airforce and they were entitled to use force to prevent war crimes.
Christopher Osmond, 30, and Simon Levin, 35, both from Brighton, and Elijah Smith, 42, Tom Woodhead, 25, Ornella Saibene, 50, Bob Nicholls, 52, and Harvey Tadman, 44, all from Bristol, were cleared of conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
During the summing up, the judge compared scenes in Israel's December 2008 bombing campaign in Gaza to those of the Nazi regime...
Also see this earlier posting.