Saab's Gripen on display at a sales fair
peace activists

Jailed for Warplane Attempt

Amid a debate over the righteousness of their cause, three peace activists who tried to smash up Swedish weapons received short jail sentences Tuesday.

At Linköping local court they were handed prison sentences of between four and six months and fined about 18,000 US dollars.

Their aim was to disable three Swedish Gripen warplanes at a Saab aviation facility - and some Swedes think that they were right to do so. The activists defence was that their criminal damage prevented a greater crime.

On Monday several prominent persons, including a former head of the Swedish church and well known actor Sven Wollter signed a letter to the newspapers supporting the peace activists and pointing out that the warplanes were to be exported to South Africa - a country that should be spending money on helping its poor, and not on Swedish weapons.

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