Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tyranny In The Great White North

Brad Love Back in Court on January 20
Charged For Writing to His Lawyer
Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lindsay, Ontario (ON)
Thursday, January 2 2014

Brad Love warned his supporters: “Because I am self-represented, they’ll put me last.” And today, they did. The Lindsay Provincial Court parking lot was all but empty on this frigid January afternoon, when the Love case was finally dealt with just before 5:00 pm. The result? Because the Crown, who had two weeks to do so, had failed to obtain the transcript of a July 11 hearing in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Brad Love was sent back to the cells until January 20 by Provincial Judge Lisa Cameron.

Mr. Love has been in jail since late July pending his appeal of an 18-month sentence, imposed in July, 2012, for “breach of probation” for having sent information packages to several Toronto Jewish groups. He testified he had received permission. He was under a North Korean-style gag order imposed by a Judge Hogg (no joke) in 2006 forbidding him to write to anybody, without their consent.

In May 2013, while working in Fort McMurray, Mr. Love was charged with sending “scurrilous material” through the mail and harassment of several local media people and politicians. His initial bail conditions forbad him to “communicate by post, e-mail or text” with anybody. [Yes, such tyranny was imposed in Canada!] With CAFE’s help and legal research, Mr. Love appeared in Court in Fort McMurray, July 11, 2013 and had the bail conditions amended so that he was forbidden to communicate only with the parties involved in the complaint against him — a significant victory.

Then, suddenly, On November 28, he was visited in the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay and charged by the Ontario Provincial Police with “breach of undertaking” (breach of bail conditions) for having written a letter to his own lawyer, Toronto attorney Peter Lindsay!

In his first court appearance, December 19, Brad presented his amended bail conditions and argued that he had, in fact, not broken the law. The Crown — and the Crowns in charge are constantly changing, the Love file passed from one to another — wanted the July 11 transcript from the Alberta Court. So, the case was adjourned to January 2.

When Mr. Love was first called late this morning, the Crown, a Miss Repka, admitted, “we have been unable to locate the brief.” When challenged on this, she said: ‘I don’t have the brief with me, Unfortunately, the time fell over the holidays.” Again with the holidays, huh?

A frustrated Mr. Love, who is not allowed to keep his legal papers in his cell, argued: “Two weeks ago, the Crown said it would order the transcript from Alberta. They don’t have it. I ask that the charge be withdrawn. This charge is holding up both my appeal and my parole. I think it’s unfair. I do have the recognisance order and this charge should be dropped.”

Court officials were overheard to say: “The Crown in Alberta said they didn’t have the time to check right now, but if they do find the time, they’ll get back to us.” How convenient.

The judge refused to dismiss the charges but ordered staff to call the Alberta Court’s clerk’s office over the lunch hour.

Late in the afternoon, despite efforts by the Crown and Brad Love’s appointed duty counsel, the Crown told the Court: “We spoke with the Court in Fort McMurray and we still have not been able to find if the variation was made.”

So, the slow, incompetent legal system, unable to get the transcript to confirm the bail conditions in Mr. Love’s pocket, blithely remanded the case until January 20.

In the meantime. Peter Lindsay, Mr. Love’s lawyer in the “breach of parole” appeal, has ordered and obtained the transcript and sent it to the Crown in Lindsay.

Breach of bail is not usually taken very seriously by Ontario Courts. In one of the numerous cases that preceded Mr. Love, a man who was out on bail for a fight with his common law partner (she too had been charged in the fight) was sentenced to a $250 fine. He had been ordered not to have any contact with her. Police had visited his house and found her there visiting! That was “breach of undertaking.” He was also charged with possession of marijuana, a marijuana plant having been found growing in the man’s abode when he foolishly let the police in. That was good for another $250 fine.

But for Brad Love, it was back to the cells. As in the old Soviet Union, political dissidents are treated far more harshly than common criminals or dopers. On the way out of Court, I asked Crown Attorney Repka how I might explain to an American audience (I have covered this case for the American Free Press) how a man can be charged with writing a letter to his own lawyer. She looked scared and said quickly, “I am not seized with this case. Another Crown is prosecuting it.” Apparently knowing nothing about the file, she felt unable to explain how it was possible Central East Correctional Centre to charge a man for writing a letter to his own lawyer who was willing to receive such communication.


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