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Planespotter sentenced in bizarre application of obscure law

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posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 04:20 AM
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Business Day

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Unofficial statement PDF.




In the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court this morning Julian swift was found guilty on two of 17 charges related to his having observed airliners landing at OR Tambo airport on 10 February 2010.
Swift was fined R5,000.00 or ten months in jail for listening to an air traffic controller at OR Tambo Airport and was discharged with a warning for having an illegal device.

Planespotting is a worldwide activity that brings many tourists to South Africa. Until Swift’s arrest no one had any reason to believe an airband radio receiver was illegal. Since Julian Swift’s arrest a number of international visitors have been arrested in South Africa, some spending time in jail.
In his ruling the magistrate rejected the ‘mens rea’ defence which requires a guilty mind for a crime to have been committed. This despite the shop that sold Swift the radio having no idea that it was illegal and Julian Swift having, in his ignorance of any possible guilt, made no attempt to conceal or deny having the receiver when the police first apprehended him. The magistrate also overlooked the defence’s argument as to the problems with what the RICA Act intended in its definition of ‘intercepting’ radio transmissions.

From the unofficial statement, better than news stories.

So planespotting is an international passtime, one that surprisingly has been embraced by most governments in the "war on terror". South Africa suddenly decides that there are laws which could be applied here, and promptly applied it to the fullest extent, to the surprise of all those knowledgeable in the field.

Now either this is beaurocracy gone mad, or this is the start of something else. Our government is cracking down on ALL freedoms, and i guess i have to include the FACT that our government WERE the terrorists who had threatened to destroy this country. And haven't in fact stopped. They're doing very well so far.

What possible motivation could they have?
edit on 6-8-2011 by harryhaller because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 04:59 AM
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reply to post by harryhaller
 


I think that, if I could afford it, I would be appealing this in a higher court. This needs to go before a Judge and should not be the province of a magistrate (assuming that they are set up in a similar manner to England)

Of course I can see why they might wish to consider the insidious activity of plane-spotting, and of course train-spotting, as potential terrorist activities. After all how else are you going to know when a particular flight arrives or departs, or when a train pulls into a station? Sorry - was that something about a timetable?


edit on 6/8/2011 by PuterMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 05:15 AM
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Originally posted by harryhaller
Business Day

EWN

LookLoc al

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Unofficial statement PDF.





Swift was fined R5,000.00 or ten months in jail



bureaucracy gone mad,

What possible motivation could they have?


Money, Control, Power.

edit on 8/6/11 by pryingopen3rdeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 07:36 AM
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Planespotting is what people have done to find out which planes are carrying extraordinary rendition flights.
The CIA doesn't want us watching them.
But the opposite is just fine.



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 09:19 AM
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This is the first I have ever heard of this. This is some kind of hobby? or is this something that criminals do? I am not following the story very well I guess.



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by harryhaller
 
He must have seen or heard something they didn't want the public to know, so they send him away to shut him up.



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by PuterMan
 


in the uk if you are found guilty in a magistrates court , you are automatically entitled to appeal .

a magistrate is not a trained legal proffesional , the clerk of court is the only one with any legal training



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 12:33 PM
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Oh yes Puterman, i'm sure people are already collecting for it. We have the english system, up to and including the Constitutional court. No time table, nothing suspicious. Until now, he had broken no laws.

It's very clearly about control, no more no less. Nothing has been achieved by this, except that every single radio amateur now is in danger of being summarily arrested for non possession of a license that is not defined.

Don't listen to anything, without us knowing who you are, what you have,a and what you're doing.

As an aside, the "Protection of Information Bill" currently being tabled is very much a part of this. Basically any state organ can classify any information it wants, without any oversight. I kid you not.



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by mustangill
 





This is the first I have ever heard of this. This is some kind of hobby? or is this something that criminals do? I am not following the story very well I guess.


This is a big hobby in the US. They track the individual planes from city to city. They see how long a plane is down for service. They photo the planes and keep track of any visible changes. They will join airline forums and ask questions about a particular tail number.

If you have a plane that you want to keep secret, don't land in any US airport. If it's different, it will be on the web in a couple of hours.

Now what was that story about landing flight 77 in Cleveland and disposing of the passengers??? Not possible without being seen by the plane spotters.



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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So, using your eyes is now illegal in SA?

I have an idea. If you want to not be noticed, then be better at not being noticed. Expecting people to not use their natural facilities because it is inconvenient is stupid.



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