Students' trial is delayed

By Marcus Dysch, May 12, 2011

The trial of two students accused of desecrating an Israeli flag has been adjourned until the summer.

St Andrews University students Samuel Colchester, 20, and Paul Donnachie, 18, face alternate charges of racially aggravated conduct or behaving in a threatening or abusive manner in relation to an alleged incident in March.

They appeared before Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife on Wednesday. A protest outside the court was held by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

It is alleged that the pair put their hands down their trousers and then rubbed their hands on an Israeli flag in the room of Jewish student Chanan Roziel Reitblat.

Lithuanian-born Mr Reitblat is based at Yeshiva University in New York and is spending one semester studying at St Andrews.

The SPSC called the charges against the pair "absurd" and compared the case to one thrown out by an Edinburgh court last year after five SPSC members interrupted a concert by the Jerusalem String Quartet.

The trial is now due to take place in August. Mr Reitblat will have completed his studies and returned to America, but will be flown back to Scotland to give evidence.

    Last updated: 3:39pm, May 12 2011