Environmental direct action activists arrested with the aid of notorious undercover police officer Mark Kennedy, have had their convictions vacated by an appeals court. In 2008 the activists stopped and occupied a coal train that was transporting 42,000 tons of coal to the Drax power station, in a protest against the callous destruction of earth to extract coal.
Kennedy was a London police officer who spent years on the international activist scene pretending to be an environmentalist and an anarchist. He was unmasked in 2011, with the aid of spreadsheets and through old fashion detective work, by a group of activists who spent years trying to reveal police informants in their midst.
On Tuesday three senior judges vacated the convictions of 29 activists who participated in the 2008 action. The judges had harsh words for the conduct of the prosecutor who brought the charges against the activists and who withheld evidence that would have exposed Kennedy as a source. Kennedy was present at activist planning meetings, and played a crucial role by driving a van and transporting activists. Without Kennedy’s involvement, the action would not have been able to take place when it did. The ongoing legal fallout from this case alone is estimated at least 1 million pounds or nearly 2 million dollars.