RAF MILDENHALL, England — A British prosecutor has dropped charges against two British Ministry of Defence policemen accused of failing to protect a peace protester who claimed she was assaulted by a U.S. airman at RAF Croughton.

The activist, Lindis Percy, 66, was detained by Airman 1st Class Frank McDonald after breaking onto the base in 2006. She claims she was roughed up while being taken into custody.

The MoD officers, Barry Athawes and Kenneth Woodhouse, were accused of misconduct in a public office for allegedly not intervening when McDonald detained Percy. But prosecutor Lawrence English dropped the charges shortly after hearing testimony from Percy at a May 6 hearing.

"I decided there was not sufficient evidence to continue," English, with the Crown Prosecution Service in Northamptom, said Friday.

The court last month canceled an arrest warrant for McDonald, a Security Forces airman with the 422nd Air Base Squadron at Croughton, after the Air Force filed a certificate of military duty with the court on his behalf. It essentially prevents British courts from assuming jurisdiction in the case under the United Kingdom’s Visiting Forces Act of 1952, English said.

But prosecutors can override the act if evidence can be shown that McDonald was not acting in the line of duty or if the Air Force takes no action in the matter, English said.

English said he did not know how the Air Force has handled the case and was unsure how the prosecution service would proceed.

Air Force investigators determined in June 2007 that McDonald did not use excessive force and was performing his military duties when detaining Percy, said Tech. Sgt. Kristina Barrett, spokeswoman for the 501st Combat Support Wing.

McDonald could not be reached for comment Friday.

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