Regina v Radical Press Legal Update #23
April 17th, 2015
Dear Free Speech Defenders and Radical Press Supporters,
The previous Legal Update #22 took place on September 30th, 2014 and six months have now transpired since I appeared in Quesnel’s Supreme Court.
The latest court appearance was originally set to be a pre-trial conference but it ended up being adjourned in order to give the defence an opportunity to serve constitutional notice on the Crown. Constitutional notice was served on March 23rd, 2015 and was dealt with by my new legal council Mr. Barclay Johnson from Victoria, B.C. who appeared via telephone to represent me while I and my wife Shastah appeared in the Quesnel courthouse. The judge appeared via telephone but I wasn’t able to determine where he was located but presumably on the lover mainland somewhere.
Crown counsel Jennifer Johnston spoke to the judge concerning the case, her position being that Crown wanted to put off the constitutional Charter applications until the end of the trial. In turn, defense counsel Barclay Johnson argued that he had been hired on a temporary retainer basis to put forward the Charter applications and at this time I lacked the resources to retain counsel for a trial and therefore putting off the argument until after the trial would make it impossible for me to properly put my constitutional challenge forward.
Crown then persisted in its position but the judge was more inclined to consider Barclay Johnson’s position and the discussion ended up unresolved as Crown’s time was limited due to another case that was awaiting address. As a result another date was set for April 28th, 2015 when Crown and the defence would once again connect via telephone at which time my counsel will once again address the timing of the constitutional argument.
As for Crown wanting to have my Charter arguments addressed after the trial this appeared to me to be rather like putting the cart before the horse as the whole intent of the Charter application is to challenge the validity of the charge in order to forestall the need for the case actually going to trial which will be a much more time consuming and expensive procedure.
One other thing arose at this time and that was the possibility that the Attorney General’s office may appoint a special prosecutor to take over from Crown counsel Johnston should the case proceed to trial as scheduled.
So we left the courthouse once again with more unresolved questions and further delays in what is now nearing the three year mark since this politically motivated “Hate” crime charge was first laid against me and RadicalPress.com.
I should have another update around the beginning of May.