Thursday, October 06, 2005 | Activist Danae Kelley, who has been held in jail since July 12, was ordered released today by U.S. District Chief Judge Irma Gonzalez.

Kelley and another activist, David Agranoff, were jailed when Gonzalez ruled they were in contempt of court for refusing to testify in a federal grand jury investigation.

That investigation concerns a 2003 arson at a University City condo project that has been attributed to an extremist environmental movement known as the Earth Liberation Front. On the night of the fire, Kelley and Agranoff attended a speech in Hillcrest made by Rod Coronado, a convicted arsonist, animal rights activist and one-time spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front.

Federal prosecutors asked for Kelley and Agranoff’s testimony as part of their ongoing investigation, but the activists have repeatedly refused to give evidence, saying that the grand jury investigation is overly secretive and violates their rights under the First Amendment.

The jailing of the activists is meant to coerce them into testifying.

Federal prosecutors had offered Kelley immunity from any charges if she testified. Today they told Gonzales they were dropping that immunity, which may mean Kelley will face charges herself.

Kelley’s husband, Justin Hand, expects his wife will be released sometime this afternoon.

– WILL CARLESS, Voice Staff Writer

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