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UK Rough Sands

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Genie Baskir
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This sludge is being dredged from the natural land of this planet Earth, and it is this natural land to which the legal expression "the laws of the land" refers, and the kind of natural land that Michael Bates seems to lack - in addition to logic and a grasp of reality. Because he asked the Evening Star, in a hypothetical manner, about the extension of UK territorial waters from three miles to 12 miles, when he asked: "If Britain imposed itself on us in that way ...", as if to say that the UK had not actually performed this undertaking. But of course the UK did extend its territorial waters long ago in 1987, and the actions of Harwich Haven Authority are proof that the UK is maintaining its own territorial waters. The hypothetical world of Michael Bates is what every ordinary person would term reality. It is time for Michael to come out of his dream: his dream which is in reality a nightmare involving violence and illegal guns.

In January 1989, with the Weiner cases raising questions about "Sealand" in the courts of the United States, the UK issued a Sworn Statement about Bates and his claims for use in these court cases. This document continued to be used in these cases into 1992. But Weiner was also using the new Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge as part of his own justification for offshore broadcasting off New York in international waters. To end this little wrinkle the same person who had created the UK Sworn Statement in January 1989, then teamed up with the Dutch and led a smash and grab raid on the unregistered Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge, a raid from which that international broadcaster never recovered and today (2000) it is but a fully licenced whisper of its former self.


If Roy Bates and his son Michael knew about the 1968 Wilson Cabinet Papers, or the 1989 Sworn Statement of James Murphy for the Department of Trade and Industry, they have done a good job of keeping very quiet about them, and no wonder. If the American Haven Company computer renegades that Bates has managed to sucker into his new "Sealand" licensing scheme had known about these documents, they would have been very foolish to have made the very bold and defiant investment moves which they have made to date. To protect their interests Bates' has again surrounded himself with illegal firearms, and gone further. On the recent Anglia Television documentary, as well as part of a American Broadcasting Company (ABC-TV) news programme, armed guards were seen with Michael Bates, while Roy Bates threatened mortal injury to anyone attempting to land on Rough Tower without his permission.

The Harold Wilson Cabinet of 1968 further discussed the UK Crown property - once called H.M.S. Rough's Fort - in the wake of Roy Bates' continued trespass: "The Tower was a danger to navigation and was marked by two buoys, maintained by Trinity House at a cost of �1,000 a year. The cost was repaid by the Ministry of Defence as owners of Roughs Tower (sic). This arrangement would continue indefinitely because although the Tower could easily be made uninhabitable if Mr. Bates withdrew it could not be demolished save at prohibitive cost. Since the incident when a rifle had been fired at the servicing vessel a naval escort had been provided for the Trinity House servicing parties, and this would continue to be needed unless in future some assurance could be obtained to satisfy the men concerned that they would be allowed to work unmolested.


Roy Bates and his son Michael would have been horrified to learn that everything that they have claimed to date about their status in law had been answered back in 1968, and that the current case by Paul John Lilburne-Byford is merely a vehicle allowing this long-standing UK legal policy to now be implemented! Because these same Wilson Cabinet Papers further remark about the original Bates Firearms Case: "The court's decision (Chelmsford Assizes) that it had no jurisdiction was not open to appeal; but it was possible that another judge would take a different view if the question came again to court in some other context. That "other context" has now surfaced with Paul John Lilburne-Byford in another Firearms Case! "The Law Officers did not abandon the opinion they had given that citizens of the United Kingdom would be liable to proceedings in the Central Criminal and Assize Courts in respect of criminal offences committed on Roughs Tower (sic).

Clearly Roy and Michael Bates and their illegally armed gang members are walking a line that leads to criminal prosecution, because they have never denied being citizens of the United Kingdom! In the Ipswich Evening Star, Michael Bates reveals a total lack of knowledge concerning the subjects of human rights and international law, because he confuses both of them, and really steps on thin ice when he is quoted as saying that: "his parents would not take any notice of a British court ruling because one country�s judicial system could not make decisions over another."

One can only assume that a solicitor representing the Bates Family will later plead for pity for his clients, because the Judge is not going to like hearing these words of contempt from ordinary UK citizens! The 1968 Wilson Cabinet made that point very clear: "The Law Officers did not abandon the opinion that citizens of the United Kingdom would be liable to proceedings in the Central and Assizes Courts in respect of criminal offences committed on Roughs Tower (sic).


The 1968 Wilson Cabinet also addressed the question of ownership of Rough Tower (we use the same term for this structure as that employed by Ordinance Survey): "Although the Ministry of Defence had no further interest in Roughs Tower (sic) it might be unsatisfactory to leave open the legal question of ownership. There were rumours that Mr. Bates intended to "sell" it to somebody else although of course he had no title to it."

The Cabinet then discussed the way in which Roy Bates was slinking into the mainland by using the marshes along the coasts, although they did not suspect that he was smuggling, nor did they at that time think that he would resume "pirate broadcasting". They thought that "there was some advantage in refraining from prosecutions which would enhance Mr. Bates' local reputation as a colourful adventurer persecuted by authority", However, the Cabinet also stated that: "The situation was unsatisfactory in that several legal issues were left unresolved, a trespasser was being left in possession of Crown property and there was a slight but continuing risk of disagreeable developments.

Ironically it is British disdain for violence which has saved the Bates Family until now, because this was the conclusion of this 1968 Cabinet Meeting: "None of these elements, or their sum, were sufficiently serious to justify forcible eviction, with its real risk of injury to Mr. Bates' family or to the assailants, or the introduction of specific legislation which would appear ridiculous to public opinion."

So Roy Bates was left on Rough Tower - until he decided to resume broadcasting in 1987, which is when he also became involved with Allan Weiner and the registration of the radio ship used by Radio Newyork International, because that is when the Privy Council extended the UK territorial waters from three miles to twelve miles, thereby encompassing Rough Tower at long last. Roy Bates blinked, scuttled his broadcasting plans and nothing else happened.

However, because Multiplex World Radio and Baskir-Byford Communications had become embroiled with this mess over the relaunch of "Wonderful Radio London" in 1989, MPLX/BBC has been fighting a ten year battle with the UK Government to resolve a legal muddle which it has allowed to develop. Finally, with Roy and Michael Bates becoming involved with another illegal British scheme involving computers, and the illegal armed force that has now been grouped at Rough Tower, Roy and Michael Bates may at long last be facing the beginning of the end in their saga of lies and violence.

It is to resolve this matter that Paul John Lilburne-Byford has gone before the Southend Magistrates' Court which has agreed that it has jurisdiction over everything that happens both in and on Rough Tower, just as the UK Treasury Solicitor stated in letters late last year.


For about ten years MPLX/BBC have been attempting to get Barry Maxwell, Director of the DTI Radiocommunications Agency, to end the ambiguity over the status of the former H.M.S. Rough's Fort at Rough Tower, on Rough Sands. During that time Maxwell has acted in the traditional style of all British civil servants: he has wabbled and he has waffled.

MPLX/BBC first began to encounter problems with Maxwell and his DTI executive agency, when plans were announced to restart "Wonderful Radio London in 1989. Although an earlier attempt had been made in 1984, these new plans were in total compliance with British law, and they even included the registration of two UK companies by Paul John Lilburne-Byford.

Trouble began over the centerpiece of this undertaking, which was to have been a radio ship that had gained brief fame for broadcasting under the name Radio Newyork International. The representative of that station was Allan Weiner of Maine, USA, who also claimed to be the owner of the radio ship - which he called Sarah. As it turned out, Weiner neither owned the radio station nor the radio ship, he had simply claimed ownership of both.


Weiner commenced his first series of broadcasts in 1987 by conning a former Radio Caroline dj, and his father, to invest in the venture, and by further conning this dj into getting the representatives of the Government of Honduras to issue a bogus registration for his bogus ship. The USA swiftly ended the first transmissions by arresting Weiner on board the radio ship, and taking him to court where he undertook not to restart transmissions from the radio ship without first obtaining a licence from the USA Federal Communications Commission.

Weiner then acted in his capacity as president of the New York registered corporation which owned the station, and which controlled the ship, and then he "sold" both the radio station and the radio ship to a London company under the control of Michael Bates, who in turn reregistered the radio ship in the so-called "Principality of Sealand". In 1988 (a year after the UK had extended her territorial waters to include Rough Tower), Radio Newyork International came back on the air.

Again the United States Coast Guard went out to the radio ship and ordered that it close down or be boarded immediately. The station went off the air. Weiner, being short of money borrowed from MPLX, while pretending that he was the legitimate owner of the radio ship. By 1989 the USA had thrown the legal book at Weiner because he had promised not to recommence broadcasting. He in turn claimed that he had not - because he had "sold" the entire operation to Bates and his London company. But meanwhile, Weiner had turned around and personally "repossessed" from Bates' London company - the entire radio ship - by using the same name as the New York corporation which had "sold" it to Bates' London company - by using the instrument of a sole proprietorship operation in Maine! More than this, while he claimed to have taken control of the assets, he swore under oath that the ship registration had been left in the so-called "Principality of Sealand".


It was at this point in time that the USA began asking the UK to explain what the "Principality of Sealand" was all about. In January of 1989, James Murphy, an Investigator for the Official Solicitor and representing the DTI in matters relating to the Marine & Etc Broadcasting (Offences) Act, made a Sworn Statement about Roy Bates and his activities on Rough Tower. Murphy made it quite plain that Rough Tower was British and that Bates had no power to register ships.

Weiner then "sold" the radio ship to MPLX/BBC. However, it was not until some considerable time later, after Weiner had failed to turn over the legal documentation to the radio ship, that an attorney for the United States Federal Communications Commission handed the entire Weiner case file to Genie Basikir, and that is when the links to Bates and the links to the real owners of both the station and the ship, began to emerge. But before any legal action could be taken against Weiner, it was necessary to find the legal jurisdiction for a suit. The introduction of Bates into the picture clouded everything, and to make matters worse, Weiner regained control of the radio ship, transferred the radio station to another ship, and then "resold" the original vessel to MGM - who blew it up in Boston Harbor with the help of the Boston Police Bomb Squad - in order to make the move "Blown Away!".

From the time of the Wilson Cabinet meeting, the UK had been claiming in so many words, that Roy Bates is just "crazy old Roy", an interpretation with which USA federal courts had agreed, and both the UK and USA have declared that there is no such entity as the "Principality of Sealand". But into those same USA federal courts Weiner had also issued a Sworn Statement saying that the ship was still registered in the "Principality of Sealand". The USA decided not to mess around with any of this nonsense, and simply found another loop-hole to terminate offshore broadcasts by Allan Weiner.

The USA discovered that Weiner had also registered same the ship in his home state of Maine as a small boat, just to get the $4 license that was necessary for him to get the vessel out of the Port of Boston and on to the high seas. Unfortunately for Weiner, he had forgotten to cancel the Maine boat registration when he reached international waters - which allowed the USA to prosecute him for using a US ship to broadcast without a US broadcasting license.

While the USA had solved its problems, and the UK was satisfied that after the 1987 Territorial Sea Act that they had heard the last of Bates and offshore broadcasting, MPLX was left with a depleted bank account and several companies stripped of assets. The logical thing to do was to sue Weiner over the ship, but while the USA and UK were out of the picture, Weiner's own Sworn Statement still claimed that the ship was registered in the "Principality of Sealand".

It was not good enough to point to the UK and USA governments' documents which debunked the myth of "Sealand", because newspapers, journals and even legal "scholars", all totally uniformed, were constantly referring to the "Principality of Sealand" as if it really did exist in law. Everyone standing on the shorelines of Felixtowe and Harwich can see that Rough Tower exists, and therefore if Weiner stood by his statement, the only legal venue for a Hearing would be the "Royal Courts of Law of the Principality of Sealand", and that idea was just too silly to contemplate.

However, if MPLX could force Essex Police to take action and to end this unlawful occupation, or to gain the declarative judgement of a UK court of law having jurisdiction, this would then satisfy the requirements necessary for a law suit in the United States to commence against Allan Weiner, and MGM. Weiner would not willingly admit to his perjury, his perjury had to be proved, which means that MPLX first had to end the ambiguous status of the "Principality of Sealand".


Because Weiner had dragged the status of the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge into his USA court battles, the USA had turned back to the UK for answers on that matter. Again the DTI turned to James Murphy - just a few months after he had created his document about Bates for the USA, and this time Murphy teamed up with the Dutch authorities to put an end to the high power transmissions from the Ross Revenge. Murphy already knew about MPLX at this time, although MPLX did not know about Murphy, and therefore it is ironic that about a year later Murphy himself called MPLX in America, to discover whether the Radio Caroline operation was planning to sue him personally, for destroying their operation. At that time MPLX also had links to the both Maxwell and Radio Caroline.

Unfortunately for Director Maxwell and the DTI, Murphy was a living pun: Nothing that Murphy ever attempted was true and correct, he bungled everything - including his Sworn Statement of 1989 for the Official Solicitor. Amazingly the Radio Caroline supporters have thrown their loving arms around both Maxwell and Murphy, and as a result, their radio ship and operation is now a very small part of the quaint legal fabric of UK radio broadcasting.

Consequently MPLX has been in a lonely paper "war" with Maxwell and many other UK Government officials and entities since that time, and because of their new found love for Maxwell and the DTI, the former rebel broadcasters of yesterday are keeping their distance from the truth that they know will someday burst all over them, to their shame. The official line has always been that of the Wilson Government: Ignore Bates until he pokes his head above ground, and then when he does - jerk the rug from underneath him, so that he will fall down again. No move has been made to arrest him, or to give him any cause for publicity as a persecuted individualist waving the flag of freedom. Bates is, after all, a thug who believe in violence to satisfy his own ends.

Meanwhile, Essex Police have acknowledged in writing to MPLX that they have had legal jurisdiction over Rough Tower since 1987, but to this moment in time they have remained on the sidelines.

Barry Maxwell has told Paul John Lilburne-Byford and MPLX that he cannot get involved with this controversy concerning the status of Rough Tower. But now we have arrived at December 2000, and once again, here is Barry Maxwell - huffing and puffing in his own cause about the operations of Roy Bates! Once again Maxwell is trying to jerk the rug to see if Bates will fall down, again.

Essex Police have told Paul John Lilburne-Byford that if he wants to see the laws enforced, then he will have to act himself as an unpaid friend of the Crown Prosecution Service before the UK courts of law, and that is how we have all arrived at this unique moment in time.

Life is very, very strange, indeed, and this story becomes even more strange when the entire history of the attempted rebirth of Wonderful Radio London is factored into it.


Details of this story will follow in further updates: please keep checking back here for more!

By Genie Baskir
RSG Editor and President of MPLX/BBC
The trespassers on Rough Tower have now tweaked the nose of Barry Maxwell, Director of the DTI Radiocommunications Agency, with their claims of unlicensed transmissions over amateur radio frequencies using the unregistered "1SL" callsign. Director Maxwell became the point man for UK Government official statements concerning Bates' "Sealand" operations on Rough Tower, as a result of ten years of contact with MPLX/BBC, and concerns arising out of a 1989 DTI Sworn Statement issued for use in courts of the United States about the registration of a radio ship by Bates. You can read the latest warning issued under the direction of Barry Maxwell concerning planned unlicensed amateur radio transmissions from the United Kingdom's Rough Tower, by using the link in the box to the left of this column.

As this electronic newspaper has previously reported in these pages, Paul John Lilburne-Byford used a Question and Answer document in addition to his Information, when he originally presented his case to Chelmsford Magistrates� Court on the 6th October, 2000 - before the case was transferred to Southend. In the wake of the initial Hearing at Southend Magistrates' Court, Michael Bates' reaction was reported in the Ipswich Evening Star in their edition published on 29th of November 2000. Therefore the time has come to update this background documentation for our readers, and for use by the Court during the next Hearing over Rough Tower, which the Bates Family says is the location of the Principality of Sealand, and which this newspaper will now show has never existed, and therefore it does not exist today.


Let us reexamine the background to Bates Family claims in the clear light of the facts, and the law. Let us also examine the new claims that have now been made by Michael Bates in the Evening Star. Needless to say, Michael is upset with the ROUGH SANDS GAZETTE: because this newspaper is leading the charge to see that the long-running Bates Family farce and con-game - is pushed into its final episode and ultimate conclusion!

The article in the Evening Star on the 29th of November 2000, begins with this description of the entity on Rough Sands at Rough Tower: "We soldier on for our sovereignty! That�s the clarion-cry today of the self-styled Suffolk offshore free state of Sealand."

ROUGH SANDS GAZETTE would like to know whether the words quoted above are the actual words used by the Bates Family spokesperson, or is reference to a "free state" merely poetic license by the journalist? The reason why we want to know is because Rough Tower on Rough Sands never had a sovereignty of its own, and as far as the ROUGH SANDS GAZETTE can tell, Rough Tower on Rough Sands has not been previously described as being the "free state of Sealand". It has been described as a principality, but not a "free state" But as this newspaper will now show, Rough Tower is not, and never has been the location of a principality.


According to Michael Bates, as reported in the Evening Star, his family ..."has been shocked to hear a court's decision that their 'country' is not a principality." Michael Bates also told reporter Richard Cornwell that "Sealand has been an independent state for more than 30 years and is recognised by international law, right is on our side."If "right" means "theft", then that is is certainly true, but there is no international law that is accepted by the United Nations, nor by any International Court which confirms that the statement by Michael Bates is true - just the opposite is true. The United Kingdom and the United States have specifically gone into courts of law and on record, to state that "Sealand" is not a country, a state or a nation, and that no country has gone on record to their knowledge, to accredit it as a legally legitimate sovereign entity! No nation could do so: because "Sealand" is not a land - but the crumbling concrete and rusting steel structure which the United Kingdom built and set in place as H.M.S. Fort Rough's. Perhaps Michael is confusing his junk pile with the actual land areas within the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands which are known by the name of 'Sealand'? Because those land areas are actual parts of this natural planet Earth, and not a man-made contraption that has been plonked upon a part of that natural land area.

In fact the entire claim and notion of H.M.S. Fort Rough's being a separate county, arises not from the North Sea mists of more than 30 years ago, as claimed by Michael Bates, but from about 25 years ago in 1975.


According to The Sunday Telegraph, Roy Bates of Essex, father of son Michael, appeared at Rochford Magistrates� Court in Essex on the 30th November 1966, where he conducted his own case to answer a summons issued by the Post Office concerning his operation of Radio Essex from Fort Knock John without a Wireless Telegraphy licence. Roy Bates had gained control of Fort Knock John in October 1965, by fighting Radio City staff, who were originally in control of the structure as trespassers on UK government property.

Roy Bates lost his case in court and was fined. He then ordered that the name of his unlicensed radio station be changed to BBMS pending an appeal. But having run out of money BBMS closed down on 25th December 1966. On 17th January 1967, his appeal was heard at Chelmsford Quarter Sessions, and it was rejected: Bates lost.

After losing his appeal, Bates picked a fight with Radio Caroline staff who were also trespassing on UK government property. That fight lasted into September 1967, in order to throw Radio Caroline staff off Rough Tower. After his "victory" he then packed up his equipment at Fort Knock John, and took it to Fort Roughs - but because the Marine & Etc Broadcasting (Offences) Act had already become law in August, and because of the demise of the original Radio Caroline twin radio ship stations, Bates did not recommence his own broadcasts from Rough Tower.


Unchallenged except by this newspaper, Michael Bates is reported to have told the Evening Star in their edition dated 29th of November 2000, that: "Sealand has been an independent state for more than 30 years and is recognised by international law, right is on our side". Well, Mr. Bates junior seems to have a problem with his memory. Because Roy Bates did not claim that "Sealand" was an "independent state", his father claimed that it was a "principality"

Wales is a principality, and Prince Charles is the person who represents the Crown of the United Kingdom in the Principality of Wales. But Wales, unlike Scotland is not an independent state. Scotland is a separate country which shares the same Crown as England within the political sovereign structure of the United Kingdom.

Monaco is a principality - but it is not an independent state - because it is partly controlled by France, and its Prince rules that principality by permission of France. Should there come a time when the male line of Monaco dies out in the ruling royal family, then Monaco is supposed to return within the borders of France itself. The Principality of Monaco, as such would be no more.


According to a published story about the history of Roy Bates and Rough Tower which appeared in the Independent on 5th June 2000, it was not until 1975 when Roy Bates first decided to declare Rough Tower a principality, which he called Sealand, and this is when he gave himself the title of Prince. That is when passports, coins and stamps first began to appear. That is when Roy Bates involved himself in the beginning of the con game, which for a time in 1978, bounced back on Michael Bates when angry investors from Germany and Holland took possession of Rough Tower and held Michael as hostage - while his parents were away. It was a spin-off from these original investors who later became involved with the criminal operations in Spain, which made headlines around the world a few months ago.

To date no member of the Bates Family has produced any documentation to suggest that Roy Bates has been made "Prince Roy" by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, nor has anyone ever produced a document to show from what existing sovereignty this so-called "principality" is supposed to draw its legal authority. A principality is subject to a primary sovereignty, just as a prince is subject to a king or queen. So from which monarch and from which sovereignty did Roy Bates gain a legal title for himself as prince, and from where did his make-believe state (of mind) which he calls the "Principality of Sealand", gain its legal legitimacy? The answer is that it never happened. Unfortunately certain people like Gary Slapper who are peddling their own books on British law, have merely revealed themselves to be unqualified to speak on international law with respect to the Bates' situation.

Indeed, in the muddled mind of Roy Bates, he has deduced and then acknowledged that Rough Tower was a British creation. After all, its creation on land as a structure built on a barge which was floated above Rough Sands and then sunk in place as one of His Majesty's W.W.II sea defence forts, can hardly be a matter for dispute. The story has been well documented in print and in pictures. So how did Roy Bates convert one of His Majesty's W.W.II sea forts into his own principality? The answer is that he did not, and neither could he have done so.

Roy Bates further claims - falsely - that the government of the United Kingdom abandoned H.M.S. Rough's Fort. In his illogical reasoning, Bates claims that the UK extended her sovereignty to Rough Tower, and that by abandoning Rough Tower, so abandoned her extended sovereignty. Bates tries to forget that Rough Tower was built on a barge and then sunk in place. Rough Tower is a man made structure, just like any other warship in His Majesty's W.W.II British Royal Navy. Bates also tries to forget that the United Kingdom has never abandoned legal responsibility for Rough Tower - even though the proof is right under his nose - as the RSG will now show its readers!

If the convoluted and absurd reasoning of Roy Bates is followed, then Roy Bates is saying that he picked up extended UK sovereignty, and that he then created a principality to act as sort of royal caretaker for the United Kingdom! But this reasoning boxed him into being a part of the very nation that he did not want to be a part of - so he then asserted by his illogical reasoning, that he has actually broken away from the United Kingdom in defiance of the United Kingdom, while deriving his claimed legal authority from the United Kingdom. Not only is this line of reasoning silly, it is also quite false - because the United Kingdom never abandoned Rough Tower. Roy Bates took it by force from Radio Caroline staff who had previously occupied it by trespassing on Crown property then known as the former H.M.S. Fort Rough's.


It should be remembered that Rough Tower is about 7 miles from Felixtowe, Suffolk, and about 8 miles from Harwich, Essex. In September 1967, the UK Ministry of Defence maintained a number of buoys around Rough Tower, under a paid contract with Trinity House. There is no dispute as to these facts, because they are recorded in Cabinet Papers of the time, which are now in the possession of both ROUGH SANDS GAZETTE, the Southend Magistrates' Court, as well as a number of journalists to whom we have sent copies.

In the "Misc 163(68) 1st Meeting" of the Cabinet Minutes "of a Meeting held in Conference Room 'D'. Cabinet Office, SWI, on Tuesday, 5th November 1968 at 3:00 p.m.", with Chairman Lawrence-Wilson presiding, were Hooton from the Treasury Solicitor; Hart and Trevelyan from the Home Office; Nursaw from the Law Officers' Department; Ellis-Roos and Marshall from the Ministry of Defence; Story from the Post Office; Banfield from Customs and Excise; Rawlings Smith from Trinity House with Standish as Secretary. The subject of the meeting was Roughs Tower, which is the former H.M.S. Fort Rough's, located at Rough Tower on Rough Sands.

"The Chairman recalled that, in the previous June (1967), officials of the Departments concerned with Roughs Tower (sic) had been about to report to the Prime Minister (Harold Wilson) about the problem of its unauthorized occupation by Mr. Roy Bates, when criminal proceedings had been opened and it had been agreed that the report should be withheld until the outcome of the prosecution was known."

In September 1967 Roy Bates had seized Rough Tower from Radio Caroline trespassers. Although Ministry of Defence personnel were not occupying Rough Tower itself, the Ministry of Defence had never at any time dropped either their claim to the structure, nor their liability for it in case of accident. UK taxpayers were and still are (in this year 2000), paying for the warning buoys surrounding Rough Tower. The buoys belong to the Ministry of Defence and other UK entities, and are maintained by arrangement with Trinity House. Roy Bates does not own nor maintain these insurance buoys.


In May of 1968, an irresponsible Roy Bates was accused of possessing a .22 pistol without a Firearms' Certificate, and his son Michael, then 16, was charged with possessing a pistol with intent to endanger life. Both men had attacked Trinity House officials performing their life-saving work of buoy maintenance. The Trinity House men complained that they had come under fire when attempting to maintain the Ministry of Defence buoys marking Rough Tower. At that time Rough Tower was outside of the United Kingdom three miles territorial limit. Essex Police caught Roy Bates when he came on shore, and his case was set for Hearing on 21st October 1968 before Judge Chapman at Essex Assizes in Chelmsford.

The case against Roy Bates was dismissed by the judge, on the grounds that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear a matter that took place outside of UK territorial limits. This is in contrast to the action taken on the Information presented by Paul John Lilburne-Byford this month in Southend. That is when a judge at the Magistrates' Court held that Rough Tower is now within its jurisdiction. Once again the issue is the illegal use and possession of firearms!

The Cabinet of 1968 reviewed the outcome of the earlier case with these words: "On 21st October (1968), Mr. Bates had been discharged from Essex Assizes on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction over Roughs Tower (sic) and could not deal with the alleged offences under the Firearms Act. The purpose of the present meeting was to establish what new problems were raised by the court's decision; what old problems remained unsolved; whether officials maintained their earlier opinion that the situation over Roughs Tower (sic) must be accepted; and whether the final report to the Prime Minister should be made at Ministerial or official level."

The Harold Wilson Cabinet of 1968 discussed Roy Bates as a somewhat crackpot UK citizen, who was trespassing on UK Crown property, and not as many would like us to believe today. as prince of a principality: "Mr. Bates' continued occupation of the Tower was undesirable, because of the shooting incident and the possibility of further violence, and also because of the small but continuing threat that the Tower could be used for some illegal activity not at present foreseen. Nevertheless, he was doing no actual harm, so far as was known, and the Ministry of Defence had no need of the Fort themselves. There was no pressing reasons for evicting Mr. Bates, certainly none that would justify the use of force or the passage of special legislation.


In 1975 Roy Bates decided to create the fantasy world which he called the Principality of Sealand. That is when he stood in for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and awarded himself the royal title of prince, and made his wife a princess! Soon there were coins and stamps and passports and even a wedding in the name of "Sealand", and the cardboard principality of Roy Bates began to take shape.

Roy Bates then wafted a business developement corporation out of thin air to give implied financial meaning to his day dream - to allow him to go in search of investors. He had two choices: one way was to find suckers that he could personally con into buying into his myth, and the other choice was to find ruthless business people who could understand and develop a scam operation. Unfortunately for Roy Bates, as so often happens, the crooks soon fell out with each other.

In 1978 Roy and Michael Bates became embroiled with their former German and Dutch partners, and the UK decided to sit back and watch these crooks fight it out amongst themselves in the international waters of the North Sea - while fighting over illegal possession of Crown property. In the end everything went quiet at Rough Tower with no UK taxpayer�s money being spent to end the illegal occupation. The buoys remained in place and Trinity House went about their business as before. Then in 1987 Roy and Michael Bates became further embroiled in a series of radio and television broadcasting ventures.


The illegal occupation of former H.M.S. Rough's Fort had begun during the dying days of the great offshore broadcasting boom of the mid 1960s. Bates returned to his roots. He announced plans to licence a Florida group and others, to start radio and television broadcasting from Rough Tower, using the pretext that he was a prince of a principality, when in reality he was not a prince and there was no principality.

At about the same time a scam had been started by Allan H. Weiner of Maine to create a radio ship broadcasting venture off Long Island, New York. Weiner had previously visited the Ross Revenge in the North Sea - which was the home of the reborn Radio Caroline - which itself had been born of fraud and criminal prosecution in Philadelphia. Weiner knew both the investor later convicted in the Radio Caroline fraud, and a disc jockey from Florida who he had met on board the Ross Revenge.

Weiner succeeded in conning this dj and his father and other investors into launching a ship station called Radio Newyork International. In 1987 Weiner was arrested on the high seas and his radio ship was silenced. Weiner then came back to the UK and met with Michael Bates to reregister the radio ship in the bogus Principality of Sealand, nothwithstanding the fact that Weiner did not have legal title and Lloyd's Shipping Registry revealed a legal owner under a different name in the Republic of Panama.

The trade-off for Weiner was that Michael Bates would register a radio broadcasting company using a London address to sell time on the station, and to promote the myth of "Sealand" in the United States. The project was almost still born. Again officials from the United States Government came out to the ship, and told the acting captain that he either turned off the transmitter then and there - or the radio ship would be boarded - again. The station went silent and Weiner became involved in a number of long running court cases in which the USA was the plaintiff.

Meanwhile, the Bates' dream of licensing other Americans to start Sealand Television and radio stations had also gone down the drain. The Wilson Cabinet had adopted a policy of reacting to Bates as the need may arise. When Bates began to promote his offshore radio and television stations licensing scheme from international waters, the UK Privy Council ended all such talk by merely extending UK territorial waters from three miles to twelve miles: thereby dragging Rough Tower within the borders of the United Kingdom.


Michael Bates shot himself in his foot, once again, when he also told the Evening Star that: "We accept British territorial waters go round our territorial waters, but that does not make us a part of the UK. If Britain imposed itself on us in that way it would infringe basic human rights. How many other countries around the world could just take over other smaller lands simply by extending their waters from three miles to 12 miles? You cannot take arbitary action like that - it is a ridiculous suggestion." Michael Bates must be protesting with tongue in cheek, because the crumbling concrete and rusting steel of H.M.S. Rough's Fort is not a land, but is now a rusting and crumbling junk pile that was at one time dumped into the North Sea.

This same Michael Bates who speaks of human rights, is the same Michael Bates who was involved in the attempted taking of human life, and thereby the taking of all human rights, when he fired at the men who were attempting to maintain the buoys marking Rough Tower. The location of those buoys makes a mockery of the notion that Bates has his own international waters.

Furthermore, Harwich Haven Authority, under licence from the UK Government, have for several years been dredging on one side of Rough Tower, and dumping sludge on the other side of Rough Tower, as a part of their work to improve the width and the depth of the sea channel to the Port of Felixtowe.

Continued at the top of the next column:

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