The jury has been discharged in the case of five anti-war protestors accused of causing criminal damage to a US Naval Aircraft.

The jury was discharged following legal argument as to whether a perception could be created that the judge hearing the case at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court might be biased.

Counsel for the two men and three women told Judge Donagh McDonagh that the defence wanted to establish if the judge had attended a conference in Texas in the 1990s when George W Bush was Governor and the inauguration of President Bush in 2000.

While counsel for the protestors made it clear they were not suggesting the judge might be biased, they did point out that the question arose as to whether a perception of bias could be created in the mind of an objective member of the public.

The judge told the court that the detail of conferences he may have attended was not open for general scrutiny by the public at large and that the four points made by defence were half wrong and half right.

Judge McDonagh dismissed the jury and remanded the five defendants on bail to face another trial this Friday.