Setback for Censorship: B.C. Judge Refuses to Gag Dissident Arthur Topham Before “Hate” Trial
Radical Press Legal Update #8
January 4, 2012
Dear Supporters of Freedom of Speech,
January 3, 2013 was a good day in B.C. and across the nation for those who have taken up metaphorical arms in defence of Canada’s fundamental right to freedom of speech on the Internet.
Here in B.C. and out in Ontario those battling against the forces of media censorship and repression were, in both cases, successful in their efforts and thus, for once, I have only positive news to report.
During the last court appearance in December presiding Judge Church, after hearing arguments from both the Crown and Defence regarding the Crown’s rather strident and persistent effort to reimpose the original bail conditions that were placed on me by Cst. Terry Wilson of the BC HATE CRIME TEAM back on May 16, 2012, reserved her judgement on the issue until January 3, 2013.
My lawyer Doug Christie attended by telephone from Victoria, B.C. and my wife and I were in the Quesnel Court room at 1:30 p.m. to hear Judge Church’s decision.
The Judge first gave an overview of the Crown’s arguments and those of Defence lawyer Mr. Christie before presenting her own position on the issue. According to Judge Church the Crown’s basic argument was that while I had legally resumed publishing on RadicalPress.com on November 2, 2012 I was still publishing material that the Crown felt was of the same calibre as that originally complained of by Harry Abrams and Richard Warman. To back up Crown’s argument Crown counsel Jennifer Johnston had submitted to Judge Church on December 19, 2012 a couple of screen shots taken from the radicalpress.com website that had supposed controversial headings which CC Johnston felt were significant enough that they warranted reinstating the original draconian restrictions that Cst Terry Wilson had unilaterally saddled me with on the day of my arrest in May.
Having considered these apparently pithy examples of willful promotion of hatred against “people of the Jewish religion or ethnic group” Judge Church went on to say that while the screen shots may have (as Crown was alleging), indicated an “undertone” of hatred toward those of the Jewish faith, Crown had not gone so far as to state that the captured text was in fact hateful. Furthermore, Crown had not disclosed to Judge Church any additional corroborating information pertaining to the screen shots in question which Crown was alleging were displaying such sentiments and so, according to the Judge, she had no way of determining whether or not the screen shots or the accompanying articles were, in fact, contravening sec. 319(2) of the CC of Canada.
Judge Church then went on to review Defence council Doug Christie’s arguments which basically stated Crown was attempting to pre-judge the published materials before a trial was held to determine whether or not they were in truth a contravention of sec. 319(2). It was also established that I am, in fact, a publisher and that under Canada’s constitution I have the right to publish articles deemed to be of interest to the general public and until such time that said articles are proven in a court of law to have contravened Canada’s hate crime legislation that my right to publish should not be pre-emptively prohibited simply because of allegations of wrong doing by those who feel particular materials are wilfully promoting hatred toward an ethnic minority. Throughout the course of her comments the Judge referred to the cases cited by both Crown and Defence during the previous hearing on December 19, 2012.
Another issue that had come up on December 19, 2012 was that of Disclosure. The Crown had then argued that they were withholding disclosure from my attorney because of a breach of protocol that had occurred back in the summer when a confidential document released to Doug Christie was later found to have been posted on a third party website (FreeDominion.ca). The Judge went on to describe the event which had to do with what is called a “Warned Statement” which was a digitally recorded conversation between myself and the arresting officer Cst Terry Wilson on the day of my arrest. The Crown alleged that the breach (committed by me due to ignorance of the nature of the document) posed a serious threat to the safety of the two complainants in the case Warman and Abrams and for that reason Crown had filed a further application demanding that my lawyer not provide me with any further disclosure because I might intentionally publish it or give it to someone else who might publish it and in the process endanger the complainants. CC Johnston had cited the case of the Basi-Virk Trial involving the BC Rail/BC Liberal government scandal as reasoning for her allegations.
The Judge then went on to state that the case law cited by Crown in fact dealt with examples where secondary parties who were testifying may have been at risk but that in my case it was information which I personally had given to Cst. Terry Wilson and was, as my lawyer had stated, not of the same nature and certainly did not pose any direct threat to either of the two individuals who had complained to the RCMP. As such the Judge did not feel that the Crown’s argument that Mr. Christie be restricted in sharing disclosure with me was valid.
Judge Church also considered Doug Christie’s counter argument that it would be an unreasonable and onerous position to be placed in were he not allowed to share the information in any disclosure with his client unless I was under his direct supervision given the fact that he was in Victoria and I was 700 km away in Quesnel. Mr. Christie had indicated on December 19, 2012 that he and his client would be more than willing to sign an undertaking prohibiting me from disclosing any further confidential information in order to insure that no such breach occurred a second time. The Judge was able to see the logic of Mr. Christie’s arguments while at the same time dismissing Crown’s position that the breach in question could have endangered the two complainants and went on to say that while she would not be imposing the two original conditions that prohibited me from publishing on radicalpress.com or writing articles for publication wherever I so chose she would be issuing an order that would make it illegal for me republish any further disclosure. At this point she also stating she would not impose upon Mr. Christie the condition that he be in attendance whenever disclosing confidential documents to me.
Having read out her decision regarding the matters at hand the Judge reinstated the new bail conditions and asked me if I understood them. I acknowledged that I did. As such here are the new bail conditions which I am now to legally abide by:
CONDITION ONE: You shall keep the peace and be of good behaviour.
CONDITION TWO: You shall have no contact or communication, directly or indirectly, with Richard Warman or Harry Abrams except as follows: (a) while in attendance at court; (b) through legal counsel.
CONDITION THREE: You shall not possess any weapon as defined in Section 2 of the criminal Code except for purposes directly related to your employment.
CONDITION FOUR: You shall not distribute, circulate or share all or any part of the Crown disclosure material with any person or organization.
CONDITION FIVE: You shall not publish or post all or any part of the Crown disclosure material on any internet site that can be read by the general public.
Having listened to the conditions of the new undertaking and given my consent to obey them the Judge then concluded the hearing. My wife and I then went for coffee and returned later to the Court Registry office where the undertaking was waiting for my signature. After signing it and obtaining a copy we left the building.
Included in the new undertaking was a notice stating that I would appear in court on April 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm PT in Quesnel for the preliminary hearing.
For some unknown reason Crown counsel Jennifer Johnston was absent from the court room and another assistant Crown counsel was sitting in for her.
So by all indications it looks like I will finally have some temporary respite from all the legal machinations that have been occurring over the past three months and I can focus on raising funds and adding further information to radicalpress.com that will assist others in understanding both the importance of this case and why it is that Canadians must sit up and pay much more attention to what these foreign lobbyists are doing to wreck our inherent right to freedom of expression and censor any and debate that focuses on the criminal and racist actions of the state of Israel and its dangerous and supremacist ideology known as Zionism.
Arthur Topham Publisher & Editor The Radical Press “Digging to the root of the issues since 1998”
NOTE: The struggle to retain our inherent right to freedom of speech doesn’t come without costs both financially and otherwise. Out of necessity, I am forced to ask for financial assistance in this ongoing battle with the foreign interest censors who are determined to stop all freedom of expression in Canada. Due to the fact that the Crown is refusing to give the required disclosure to my lawyer I am not able to apply for legal aid. This leaves me in the unenviable position of having to rely solely upon donations to pay for my legal expenses.
As of January 3, 2013 there are additional costs to those already incurred that now stand at $5,222.79 still owing on Mr. Christie’s account. Given my minimal monthly pension of approximately $1400.00 out of which I must pay my mortgage and utilities and insurance on home and vehicles (this doesn’t cover additional costs for fuel and food) which come to approximately $1200.00 one can see that it’s virtually impossible for me to cover these expenses without further assistance from supporters.
As such I would once again implore readers to give serious consideration to helping me out by either sending a donation via PayPal using either a PayPal account or a credit card or else sending a cheque or Money Order or cash to me via snail mail at the following postal address. Cash of course also works. Please don’t make the cheque out to “RadicalPress” as that account is no longer available to me.
Arthur Topham 4633 Barkerville Highway Quesnel, B.C. Canada V2J 6T8
To access my PayPal button please go to either the Home Page at http://www.radicalpress.com or my blog http://www.
quesnelcariboosentinel.com The PayPal button is up on the right hand corner of the Home Page on either site. Feel free to click on it.
Arthur Topham Pub/Ed The Radical Press