Sunday, November 28, 2010

No End In Sight To Gibbons Court Odyssey

The prosecutors do their best to prevent the "temporary" injunction (that forbids pro-life activities outside of certain abortion clinics) from being jeopardized. Even if that means keeping an innocent woman in jail without trial for almost two years.
TORONTO, Ontario, November 24, 2010 ( - The production of a startling new document has further delayed an already long overdue trial for Linda Gibbons on a charge of disobeying a court order that has kept her imprisoned for almost two years. At issue is a communiqué sent from Gibbons’s former attorney Peter Jervis to the Ontario Crown attorney’s office. It made it clear he was no longer acting on her behalf when meetings were held in 2001 on the progress of a temporary court injunction issued by a civil court in 1994 that prohibited pro-life activity near certain Ontario abortion sites.

Gibbons could not have legally given her assent to the results of those meetings without representation. The document should have been produced for Gibbons’s current defence team as part of mandated procedures for complete Crown disclosures to defence counsels, but apparently was not. That irked defence lawyer Daniel Santoro, who is pursuing an abuse of process motion in the case and told presiding judge Mara Beth Greene at a hearing on November 19 that the situation is “highly problematic, to say the least.”
The current charge dates back to January 20, 2009, when Gibbons was arrested outside the “Scott Clinic” abortion site in downtown Toronto for allegedly violating the temporary court injunction. An earlier conviction for disobeying a court order regarding a matter in October 2008 is being pursued to the Supreme Court of Canada on the basis that - as with all criminal charges laid against Gibbons over 16 years - a civil matter was improperly pursued in a criminal court. Word is being awaited on whether the Supreme Court will hear the appeal.
It's a shame on all who run the law enforcement in Ontario, that an innocent pro-life protester is even kept in jail, let alone - being treated worse than dangerous criminals.

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