Tony Leamon - Cornish Patriotic Activist - free after eleven month ordeal at the hands of police !
I shall be writing this story over several days as the full picture becomes clearer.
In searching the internet for Tony Leamon + Cornwall + Kernow, a massive list of hits will draw up many web references to the incredible battle that has been going on in Cornwall.
Some of his story has been covered on this NP site.
On one side, Cornish 'home rule' and Celtic activist, Tony Leamon from Falmouth, arrested 11 months ago in a massive armed police raid on his home together with his supporters from Celtic communities around the world and on the other, the much discredited Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, frequently referred to as 'the Colonial Police' in Cornwall and to some extent the press, including the Sun newspaper.
Leamon, Branch Treasurer of the Celtic League in Cornwall, arrested by the 'Colonial Police' as a terror suspect has undergone over 20 hours of forced interrogation by terrorist and CID officers, had his Cornish flags, Cornish books, computer and a lot more besides seized and forensically examined. Down the abnormally long period of this investigation he has been kept on very restrictive bail and has answered that bail on numerous occasions at the request of the police who cancelled it three times at hours notice in order to keep the pressure on him.
What the Colonial Police and to some extent the muted Cornish press could never have known is the extent to which this story circled the globe, eventually leaking out to the English National Press. Although many articles have mocked the situation there appears to be a change in attitude in the press and recently the Times, Independent and Guardian newspapers of London and the tacky tabloid, the Sun, have run articles condemning the way Cornwall has suffered at the hands of English governance. Leamon's case drew support from Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other places and messages and phone calls of support flooded the websites of not only the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary and the Police Authority, but also the Crown Prosecution Service and worldwide press. Even the gay community in Cornwall who have suffered terribly at the hands of the brutal and malicious Cornwall Colonial Police joined in with their support although Leamon himself is hetrosexual.
Websites were established to support him and he has been the subject of You Tube films and even approached by a private film maker for his story. Apparently, protests were planned outside of British Embassies overseas by friend and supporters.
Leamon was offered money and even a means to escape his homeland by well wishers but his courage shone through together with his innocence.
At 9.30PM during the evening of Wednesday 30th July, 2008, the Colonial Police finally bowed and realised that they were creating a martyr, a rebel with a cause and with enormous support. An officer was forced to admit publically that there was no evidence against their so called terror suspect and that he was an innocent man and free to move on with his life.
Messages of congratulations again flooded in inboxes and many are now pleading for Tony Leamon to take legal action for compensation against the authorities and those sections of the press which berated him and his stand.
A close supporter of Leamon who wished to remain unidentified at this time said:
'Eleven months later, and having confiscated his flags, his computer and John Angarrack (please google search this man - he's a Cornish academic who confounds the sytem with his legal calls for freedom for Cornwall) books, been interviewed three times and had two cancelled at the eleventh hour, he's been told he's done nothing wrong.
He knew that; we knew that, but hey, what's an armed squad, 20 hours of police interrogation and 11 months of hell, between friends...
He's at home shaking and crying, of relief and happiness, and will, in time, thank you all for the tremendous and on-going support you have shown, Celtic and other peoples from about the globe.
A great victory for justice and for Cornwall.'
and since 'going to press' on NP this message circulated by Tony Leamon:"My first day of freedom has been a bit busy as you can imagine. I have received a number of mails, and phone calls congratulating me on my release. I would say they have dropped all charges, but considering I had never been charged in the first place……. I can never thank you all for the support you have given me. We have shown that they cannot pick on people to get headlines and get away with it. Speaking of headlines I have had a phone call from the Western morning News wanting an interview. Maybe they will get the facts straight this time! Can someone send me an ‘official’ piece from the CL please. I am planning a little drinky poo somewhere in the nest week or so to celebrate my freedom, so if anyone has any ideas please let me know. It would make a bit of a news item somewhere. I can finally get on with my life. I can plan the trip to Dublin for the Celtic League AGM, I can get out to Spain to see old Mike, and get up to the midlands to see relatives and friends. I am not sure what to do with all the monies raised for me. I have no idea how much is being held in my name., In Cornwall I know of at least £3,000. That has already been returned to its owner ( bugger!), who has bought me a nice bottle of whiskey from it. Not a £3,000 pound bottle I must add! I have for ages now meant to get a small tattoo that reads “one day, a nation once again. Kernow Bys Vykken!” on my arm, Maybe I can use some of the money for that, and return the rest that they do not want donated to charity. Let me know. Many people have given me money to tide me over. You know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. On the money I receive on benefits I will never be able to repay you, but when you need help, just ask and I will come running, well limping! While on bail I came up with a simple chant that can be used when all our nations are together. “WE ARE ONE” That is what has achieved my victory. The English politicians will always be scared of a united Celtic force. My neighbours will probably forgive me soon for playing Billy Joel’s “I am an innocent man” all morning at full volume, along with A nation once again!
I have a nice supper on, and a few glasses of nice whiskey to dispose of, so see you all soon. Somewhere.."
Latest edition to the story is a Celtic League Press Information reproduced below:
CELTIC LEAGUE - PRESS INFORMATION
KERNOW - BAIL RESTRICTIONS ON LEAGUE MAN DROPPED
Tony Leamon, one of the original people arrested last September as
part of a police swoop targeting Cornish nationalists, was finally
released from bail on 31st July 2008, 11 months after he was first
Last week would have been the fifth time that Mr Leamon was due to
answer bail at Camborne police station, Cornwall, but as on two previous
occasions, the police contacted him at his home to tell him that his
bail had been delayed yet again. However later on the same day, Mr
Leamon was informed by the police that no charges would be brought
against him and that his bail restrictions would be removed.
Mr Leamon, who is the League's Kernow Branch Treasurer and an active
member of the Branch, was the last of those arrested on 4th September
2007 to be kept on bail while a police investigation was carried out
under the Terrorism Act. As with the other people arrested in September
2007, Mr Leamon is still unclear why armed police specifically targeted
him in a early morning raid or why he was kept on police bail for
so long. During lengthy hours of questioning the police had accused
Mr Leamon of possessing a firearm (which he doesn't own), taking photographs
of the flag of St George being flown and being a Cornish nationalist.
It is suspected that the police arrested Mr Leamon and others as part
of their investigation into the Cornish National Liberation Army/Cornish
Republican Army, who re-emerged last year following threats made to
celebrity chefs in Cornwall.
As a consequence of his arrest, Mr Leamon lost his voluntary job and
had a large number of his possessions confiscated, including a friends
computer for which he had to buy a replacement. The related stress
and personal pressure that the arrest and investigation has placed
on Mr Leamon and his family has been considerable and led to a suicide
attempt by him earlier this year.
The cost of the police investigation into Mr Leamon, over the 11 month
period must have been extensive and has led the General Secretary
(GS) of the League to make a Freedom of Information Act request to
determine what the exact costs of this particular investigation have
been (see below).
The Celtic League wishes Mr Leamon and his family good luck for the
future and Branch delegates will look forward to seeing him at the
League's AGM in Dublin later this month.
The Leamon case and the repression of Cornish Nationalist was due
to feature prominently at the forthcoming Celtic League AGM and a
protest at the British Embassy in Dublin had been planned.
J B Moffatt
Director of Information
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609
Internet site at:
and now the press in Cornwall are finally releasing the story after a ban on coverage imposed upon them by the state: