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Ricky Tomlinson confident of Flying Pickets legal challenge success

 

STAR Ricky Tomlinson said he and the other jailed Flying Pickets had a “100% chance” of winning their court challenge to have secret government documents about their imprisonment released.

Speaking ahead of a Criminal Case Review Commission hearing to be held in Birmingham next month he said he believed the group’s lawyers could prove that the decision to jail the men was “politically motivated”.

The 24 men were sentenced under the 1875 Conspiracy Act because of their involvement in picketing during the 1972 builders’ strike.

They had travelled around building sites trying to encourage construction workers to join the strike and were jailed for “unlawful assembly, affray and conspiracy”.

But the government is refusing to release the papers on the basis that it “could threaten national security”.

Ex-Brookside, Cracker and Royle Family star Ricky, who was jailed for two years, said: “There was political involvement and I think the reason they’re refusing to release the papers is because some of the people involved are still alive today.

“It’s been a long struggle but we are not giving up.

“There’s no way they can deny some of the evidence. They talk about transparency and open justice – now’s the time to come clear.”

Fellow Flying Picket Terry Renshaw added: “I believe we will finally see justice and prove that this was a political trial.

“The government can’t have it both ways by denying it was political and still refusing nearly 40 years on to release all documents appertaining to the trials as it would threaten the national security of the country.”

The hearing is scheduled for April 3.




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