Judge Throws Out Charges Vs. Greenpeace
Wednesday May 19, 2004 9:31 PM
MIAMI (AP) - A judge threw out federal charges Wednesday against Greenpeace for a protest in which members of the environmental group clambered aboard a cargo ship loaded with Amazon mahogany.
Greenpeace was charged under an 1872 law - not used in more than a century - that was intended to keep bawdy houses from luring sailors off ships with offers of prostitutes, strong drink and warm beds.
U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan ruled there was not enough evidence for the case to go to the jury. He put an end to the case after the prosecution rested.
Greenpeace claimed the charges were payback for its criticism of what the group said is lax Bush administration enforcement of international restrictions on mahogany trade.
Six Greenpeace activists spent the weekend in jail after two of them boarded the 965-foot cargo ship APL Jade six miles from its dock in the Port of Miami to protest a 70-ton load of Brazilian mahogany in 2002.
The organization was indicted 15 months later under a law that had not been used since 1890.