The lawyer representing Dryden gunsmith Bruce Montague and his wife Donna in their bid to challenge the federal Firearms Act, verbally attacked the tactics of a Crown prosecutor involved in a civil motion to put on a lien on their home last week.
Following a court appearance by the Montagues in Kenora Oct. 5, Toronto lawyer Calvin Martin, who was not at the Kenora proceedings, faxed a strongly-worded letter to Crown counsel James McKeachie regarding the security measures used on his clients.
In the letter, dated Oct. 6, and provided to the Daily Miner and News by Martin, he chastised McKeachie for the added security used only for the Montague case on Oct. 5. Those entering the courtroom were met by two OPP officers and subjected to a security search with a metal detecting wand.
"I am truly appalled by your conduct in Kenora yesterday declaring a security alert against Bruce and Donna Montague and having them surrounded by police officers as though they were dangerous offenders," Martin stated in the letter.
"Your behavior is despicable, inappropriate, an abuse of your authority and completely unwarranted."
"The only possible reason for your action would have been to prejudice the court, the court officers and the residents of Kenora against my clients."
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General, Brendan Crawley, said Thursday they will not comment on the letter. He said it is "inappropriate" due to the related criminal matter before the courts.
Crawley also would not comment on why additional security measures were in place for the Montague's Kenora court appearance on Oct. 5.
"We never comment on security matters either, for obvious reasons," said Crawley.
Bruce Montague was arrested along with his wife Donna by the OPP on Sept. 11, 2004 at a Dryden gun show. He is facing a total of 53 criminal charges for a variety of weapons-related offences including the unauthorized possession and careless storage of firearms, explosives and restricted firearms.
Donna Montague was also charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm and two counts of careless storage of a firearm. The Montagues have vowed to challenge the Firearms Act under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The civil motion to put a lien on the Montagues' home and property, which the Crown claims may be the proceeds of crime, was stayed until the completion of their criminal trial.
Article ID# 1847540
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