Saturday, July 19, 2008

When last Molly related the story about how the publication ban on the preliminary hearing of native activist Shawn Brant's trial one commentator opined that the ban had been reimposed (then said "delete,delete,delete" for some reason). Well, this was sort-of true for about 5 hours as the ban was reinstated and then lifted once more in the course of an afternoon- by exactly the same judge. The mind boggles. So...the barn door was closed after the horse had left the barn, and then it was opened once more. Too strange.
What is equally strange is why on Earth there was a ban in the first place. Publication bans may be made for reasons of identity protection, or to avoid prejudicing a trial, but for the life of me I cannot see any such reasons in this particular case. About the only person who comes out looking bad in this case is OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, as the article below shows. What Molly heard on the radio the other day was even more damning, as Fantino was threatening the natives by saying that the Canadian army was on standby, and that the APCs and the tanks were ready to roll over them in minutes.Yup...I guess he forgot to mention the 101st Airborne, two or three nuclear missiles and the whole fucking Chinese Army as well. Chaaaarge ! I wonder how you say this in Chinese. Calm down Julian. Take your blood pressure pills or you won't make it to retirement without a stroke. Molly can't be this funny when she is trying. If Fantino does avoid the CVA until he retires he has a new career ahead of him on the comedy circuit. I wonder how he'll deal with hecklers.
But anyways, here's the rather convoluted story from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). More news later as it develops.

11th Hour Decision: Court of Appeal Throws Out Publication Ban Again: Evidence of OPP Commissioner Fantino Public Once More:‏
11th Hour Decision: Court of Appeal Throws Out Publication Ban Again:Evidence of OPP Commissioner Fantino Public Once More
TIME: Saturday, July 19th, 2008 2pm
LOCATION: Offices of Roach, Schwartz & Associates
(688 St.Clair Avenue West, Toronto)
(Friday, July 18th, 2008)
After a decision by a Napanee judge, rendered at 10:30 am this morning, lifting a publication ban on Tyendinaga Mohawk Shawn Brant's preliminary hearing, Crown attorneys attempted to have the effect of the decision stayed, but failed.
At midday, only Crown prosecutors (no defence lawyers) appeared before a judge of the Court of Appeal, and convinced the judge to issue a stay.The media was ordered to "immediately cease reporting on evidence heard at the preliminary inquiry and remove all related reports from websites".
Then, at shortly after 5pm, lawyers for the CBC and Mr. Brant appeared before the same Appeals judge, along with Crown counsel. After substantial submissions, the judge lifted her earlier stay and dismissed the stay application altogether, ordering the publication ban lifted once more.
The appeal may go ahead in due course, but the media are at present free to publish all the evidence heard at the preliminary inquiry.
As reported briefly today, this decision makes crucial evidence available to public scrutiny for the first time. The preliminary inquiry dealt with charges arising from Mr. Brant's participation in two highway and rail blockades held by Tyendinaga Mohawks in 2007 to pressure the government to resolve longstanding land claim and poverty-related grievances.
The documents include wiretap transcripts that feature OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino telling Mohawk protest leader Shawn Brant in a telephone conversation that, "your whole world's going to come crashing down" and threatening to "do everything I can within your community and everywhere to destroy your reputation" during the blockade which took place on June 29th, 2007, on the AFN's National Day of Action.
Defence counsel, Peter Rosenthal, will be available tomorrow to discuss the conduct of the Crown Attorneys, as well as to provide documents and transcripts relevant from the preliminary inquiry.
TIME: Saturday, July 19th, 2008, 2pm
LOCATION: Offices of Roach, Schwartz & Associates
(688 St.Clair Avenue West, Toronto)
For more information, contact:
Peter Rosenthal, Counsel:
Shawn Brant: (613) 391-4055

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