Socialist Worker

Anti-war soldier Joe Glenton's charges dropped

Issue No. 2187

The army has dropped the heaviest charges it was to bring against Joe Glenton, the British soldier who refused to fight in Afghanistan.

Joe was to be charged with desertion, which can carry up to ten years in military prison. He was originally charged with being absent without leave (Awol) after being absent for two years and six days.

Joe spoke out and marched against the war— the army responded by adding a range of charges concerning disobeying orders and bringing the army into disrepute.

Joe had spoken to the media about his refusal to go back to Afghanistan and led the national anti-war march last October.

The army has dropped all these charges after pressure from his defence campaign.

While this is a significant victory for Joe and the campaign to defend him, it is not the end. Joe has admitted to the charge of Awol, and will be sentenced on 5 March at 10am at Colchester military court.

Joe could still be sent to prison. His legal team will be arguing for no custodial sentence and for all charges to be dropped.

Supporters will protest outside the court on the day to support Joe and the courageous stand he has taken.

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Tue 2 Feb 2010, 19:19 GMT
Issue No. 2187
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