No Increased Bail Restrictions on Free Speech Warrior Arthur Topham
Frankly, we feared the worst. After Authur Topham’s conviction, November 12, on one of two counts of willfully promoting “hate” against a privileged group, in this case Jews, on his website radicalpress.com, Crown prosecutor Jennifer Johnston immediately sought tighter bail conditions.
It has been the goal of both the highly politicized “hate squad” and the Crown to shut down Mr. Topham’s website. Indeed, his initial bail conditions forbad him to be on the Internet. Eventually, these were appealed and amended.
The Crowns application for more restrictions on Mr. Topham was heard by video conference November 19 and 20.
Judge Bruce Butler turned down Ms Johnston’s demand that Mr. Topham be prevented from doing any more posting on the Internet until his sentencing. [Actually, in a sense, the trial is not yet over because the constitutional challenge is yet to be heard.]
In addition, she wanted a ban on his discussing or speculating why the jurors decided as they did.
Defence lawyer Barclay Johnson appearing from Victoria pointed out: “The international media is alerady reporting on the case.”
“The hearing went extremely well,” Arthur Topham told CAFE. “All Crown got was an order that I remove a photo taken outside the court the first day of the trial as the group shot might have shown a person who would eventually sit on the jury. I had no problem removing it,” he said.
The tentative date for hearing the constitutional challenge is January 25 in Quesnel.