Ohio judge to hear pretrial issues in P&G protest

CINCINNATI (AP) — A southwest Ohio judge plans to hear from prosecutors and defense attorneys about the case against nine Greenpeace activists.

Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler has a Monday hearing on pretrial issues. No trial date has been set yet on burglary and vandalism charges that followed the March 4 protest at Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters in Cincinnati.

Winkler recently rejected defense arguments that the activists were simply exercising their free speech rights when they used a zip line to unfurl giant banners from the consumer products maker's towers as a helicopter filmed them. Prosecutors say that regardless of their political message, the activists committed crimes and caused damage.

The activists were protesting P&G use of palm oil Greenpeace linked to tropical forest destruction. P&G has since revised its supply policy.

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