Man arrested in Indymedia animal extremism probe

Man arrested in Indymedia animal extremism probe

A man has been arrested in connection with comments posted to the activist news site Indymedia.

The postings on January 21 included the personal details of a prominent High Court judge who had earlier that day handed down prison sentences in a landmark animal testing extremism trial.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said the arrest was made this morning in Sheffield. No further details about the man, who has not been charged, were released. His arrest follows Kent Police’s seizure of an Indymedia server in Manchester on January 22.

The two user comments that prompted the investigation were posted on Indymedia in response to a story about the jail sentences given to members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). Mr Justice Neil Butterfield handed down sentences of between four and 11 years for blackmail to three women and four men after they were convicted of harassing people and companies connected to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).

Kent Police carried out the SHAC investigation, led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Robbins. The receipt left with the Manchester colocation firm hosting Indymedia’s server said he had instigated the seizure.

Update: Police bail sysadmin in animal rights extremism probe

A Sheffield man has been released on police bail after being questioned in connection with comments posted to the activist news website Indymedia, which included the personal details of a prominent High Court judge.

The man, in his 40s and thought to work as a systems administrator, was arrested on Monday and questioned for about eight hours. He has been bailed without charge to appear at a police station in May. His home was searched and computer equipment and paperwork seized.

The comments at the centre of the investigation were critical of Mr Justice Neil Butterfield for the landmark blackmail sentences he handed down to seven animal rights extremists last month. One posting encouraged other Indymedia users to use the personal information to contact Butterfield and “to let this friend of [animal testing firm Huntingdon Life Sciences] know exactly what you think about him”.

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