Dear Fellow Canadians, and Supporters:
Donna and I just had a very long day in court yesterday (Monday June 20, 2005). It started at 10am
and didn't finish till about 3:30pm. Overall the proceedings showed the
adversarial (bully) mentality of our justice system. At one point, shortly
before I was kicked out of the court room, I made the comment (while trying
to answer one of their questions truthfully) that it didn't look like I was
really needed for this hearing. The judge, crown and even my lawyer (local
duty counsel not Martin) insisted that I had to answer questions
untruthfully, with regards to whether or not I understood these new charges
they were laying against me.
I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. Our schedule for June 20th consisted of
me showing up for court at 10am to be arraigned on new charges and have the
old charges (all of them) withdrawn. At 1pm Donna and I are to appear for a
preliminary hearing. Following is a "brief" diary of what happened
yesterday, in chronological order (I tried to keep it brief and still keep
the highlights of what I thought were significant):
1-I arrived at the court house shortly before 10am and was greeted by many
local supporters. Somehow they found out about the 10am appearance, and
decided to come to it as well. It's hard to quantify the value of this kind
of local support, but to Donna and I it's priceless! My wife and I are very
appreciative for everyone who comes out to support this case.
2-When our case was brought up, the crown tried to roll everything together
at 10am, but Donna wasn't there. These guys aren't very organized. We were
told to attend at 1pm for the preliminary, and only me to attend for the
10am arraignment. We had asked to have it all at the same time, but got no
3-They started into the arraignment process with me (that's where my new
charges are read to me, and I'm asked if I understand them). I had a local
duty counsel there to represent me. We didn't get very far into this process
when I asked if I had to answer truthfully. I got one of those 'stunned'
looks of silence from the judge, before he asked me what the problem was.
I proceeded to explain that there was obviously something I didn't
understand because the crown was withdrawing all my old charges and
supposedly (according to the crown) giving me new charges "that were
essentially the same thing". If they were the same then why were we going
through all this again? I explained one of the significant changes that I
saw was that my "careless storage" charges were all dropped, and that I was
"deeply touched" that they finally realized that I didn't store my firearms
in a careless manner, BUT in the process have slandered my name across the
country on how careless I was. I pointed out that I thought this was an
underhanded tactic to withdraw the charges we were preparing for only to
have them replaced by a new batch. I used the phrase "principles of
fundamental justice" while explaining how the crown can seem to change their
story on a whim and cause us to waste our resources addressing charges that
are just dropped and replaced with something else. At about this point the
judge kicked me out of his court room and told me to come back at 1pm after
talking to my lawyer.
4-After leaving the court room, duty counsel explained to me "how it works".
He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.- - The system is geared
for certain 'pat' responses, and can't seem to handle truth and common
sense. (that is my shortened interpretation of the lawyer's rather long
winded explanation) I wonder how long it will be before they eliminate the
'accused' from this entire process? I think I made that comment as well to
the court, when I wasn't permitted to answer truthfully. This reminds me of
how our house of commons works when the Liberal MP's are TOLD how to "VOTE".
5-I ran some errands in town, and had lunch at a friend's house.
6-Returned to the court house just before 1pm and was greeted by even more
supporters, as well as Donna. I filled them in on what happened at the 10am
hearing (I don't think Donna was impressed with me).
7-When my case came up and they put me on the stand, the judge asked if I
spoke with my lawyer and was ready to proceed? I answered that the "system"
was explained to me, and that I was to answer "yes" to the question of "do
you understand the charge?", even if I don't understand it. I reiterated
that I don't understand the charges, but will answer yes anyway, so that we
can proceed. I got that 'stunned' look of silence again, then they proceeded
with reading out the charges.
This was a VERY S L O W W W W W process. It took almost two hours
to read out each charge, ask if I understood it, then recite a list of
options on how I wish to proceed. I had to answer "yes" to the first
question, then I answered the second question by stating that I elect to be
tried by "judge and jury". This had to be done for each and every one of the
53 charges I now face. Just about everyone in the court room, with the sole
exception of the crown prosecutor looked so bored that they could hardly
8-It is interesting to note here a little irony. The crown was busy studying
the charges while they were being read out. Apparently the crown and the
police detectives there didn't understand the charges!!!! They made over a
dozen changes to the charges as they were being read, and at one point the
crown used the excuse that some of these charges were very complicated and
confusing to try to figure out. Then they had to reread the changed charged
back to me, to which I answered "I guess I really understand it now!". The
court did not look amused, but I couldn't resist pointing out the hypocrisy
of the court expecting me to understand the charges that the crown pressing
the charges didn't understand!!! The 'stunned' silent look I got to my
response indicated that my point was made (the poor clerk who had to read
all these charges out to me, could barely withhold her laughter)
9-After the charges were read out, the judge seemed to be in a hurry to get
rid of me, even though we still had some more business to address. My duty
counsel assisted in allowing me to be heard by the court. We are trying to
recover much of my property that was seized, that didn't have any bearing on
the case. The crown argued that there was a lot of stuff to go through and
that it might be a while before they can review it. I pointed out that it's
been nine months now since they took my property, and that it seemed they
were purposely delaying just to put us in financial hardship. Then the judge
passed the buck and said it wasn't up to him now, it's up to the "Superior
Court Judge" - - How convenient!
The judge then TOLD me I was finished, and then asked Donna to come to the
10-Donna had her 3 charges read out and she also elected trial by "judge and
jury". Afterwards she again asked for our property back; specifically our
computer, so we can do our tax returns. They entertained Donna's request
much better than mine, but with the same overall result. - - I suspect hell
will freeze over before we get anything back!
An interesting note on this topic though. They did give us some CD's,
supposedly with the data from our computer, but it's in a format we can't
read. They told us it is in a 'special' format that will require a special
program that they will sell to us so that we can view the contents!!! Maybe
they are trying to start a new business here. Next, I can see them giving us
disclosure in a different language so that they can sell us translation
services! I am more appalled at our "justice" system at every turn.
SUMMARY OF WHAT HAPPENED LEGALLY:
1-Donna and I had our charges read out, and we elected to be tried by judge
and jury at the Superior Court of Ontario.
2-We "waived the evidence" and elected to NOT do a preliminary hearing, but
to go straight to trial.
3-A date for the "judicial pre-trial" still needs to be set. For some reason
they couldn't do that at our hearing yesterday. The judicial pre-trial will
be heard before a Superior Court judge, and it's purpose appears to be so
the judge can get an idea of what will be involved with the case and how
much time will need to be set aside for the trial.
4-There are a total of 13 distinct charges. (with a lot of duplication to
add up to 53) From a Charter Challenge standpoint, the case hasn't changed
I hope you didn't find this story too long winded, but I felt that these
observations were significant. I'm learning more about our justice system
everyday, and as disgusting as parts of it are, I felt that you would
probably want to be aware of these little nuances as well.
It looks probable that our next appearance will be July 25th. This
appearance will simply be to set a date for the judicial pre-trial at the
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. Thanks to you, Donna
and I both feel very strong and more determined than ever to put some common
sense back into our laws.
Yours in Liberty,
I will be strong and courageous, I will not be terrified or discouraged,
for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. (Joshua 1:9)
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