By Garett Williams
Tuesday December 04, 2007
Closing statements in Bruce and Donna Montague’s criminal trial began
Monday with defence attorney Doug Christie arguing the Crown created a
criminal out of an honest man with technical, ridiculous and arbitrary
He began his address by telling the jury they alone will determine the
future of two “decent, honourable and honest people.” He reminded them
that, whatever their decision, they will have a lifetime to think about
it and sleep with it.
Christie reminded the jury the basis for convicting somebody lies in
the Crown proving the law was broken with criminal intent, which he
said didn’t happen. He cautioned them that a guilty verdict would put
their stamp of approval on a regulation and licensing system that
He addressed the two loaded rifles recovered in the first search of the
Montagues’ home, which Donna Montague testified would normally be
unloaded and stored in the basement when no one was home. However, she
forgot to do it when she rushed out the day Bruce Montague was
The authorities “created a crime by creating an emergency,” Christie
“And we’re not supposed to get angry about that, well, I’m angry about
that,” he added, slamming his fist onto his podium.
He questioned the credibility of the searches, saying every weapon
removed from the hidden room in the basement, which he referred to as a
secure vault, was carefully tagged and documented, but the money
wasn’t. He attacked the tactics used to investigate Bruce Montague,
including contacting his church, which Christie claimed resulted in the
Montague family being ousted from their support network.
He said the evidence presented to the court failed to prove the
Montagues were a threat to public peace, the basis for many of the
He claimed the Crown paraded firearms and literature into the courtroom
to prejudice the accused in the eyes of the jury, to invoke fear.
Christie called firearms laws oppressive, saying the case is really
about power and the government wants it all, so it designed regulations
to choke firearms out of the hands of citizens.
“The real tragedy for the freedom of our country is that freedom is
reduced to the lowest common denominator, with the maximum oppression
by the state.”
He told the jury they could give the Crown a great shock by proving
juries aren’t intimidated by tonnes of guns and “scary” literature and
that criminal intent is necessary to win a conviction.
The trial, which was scheduled to be wrapped up in two weeks, entered
its fourth week with one less juror, who had to be excused to fulfill
Assistant Crown attorney Peter Keen is expected to wrap up his closing
address this morning, setting the stage for Justice John Wright to make
his charge to the jury before they are sequestered to a private room to
determine the future of the Montagues.
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