Crown Threatens to Deny Arthur Topham a Preliminary Hearing and Proceed by Direct Indictment
May 16th, 2013
Dear Free Speech Advocates and Radical Press Supporters,
Today, May 16th, 2013, marks the first anniversary of my arrest and incarceration last May 16th, 2012 when Det. Cst. Terry Wilson and the BC “Hate Crime Team” flew up from Vancouver and along with a crew of approximately 14 police officers, stopped my vehicle containing myself and my wife while on route to Prince George on a business trip and charged me under the criminal code of Canada with a sec. 319(2) “Hate Crime”. I was read my rights, arrested, handcuffed and carted off to the Quesnel jail where I spend the rest of the day in a cell while Det. Wilson’s team awaited an illegal search warrant and then entered my home and stole all of my computers and electronic files as well as my firearms which are my only means of defense well outside of any RCMP range of immediate help in case of an emergency.
Coincidentally today was also the latest in a protracted series of court appearances that began back on October 9th, 2012. Today’s menu of misfeasance included a new item that suddenly popped up when I was supposed to be appearing before the provincial judge to discuss my last application to the court requesting particularization of the disclosure material submitted by the Crown. Those who have been following these legal updates will be aware of what that was all about and for anyone new interested in finding out they can go to Legal Update #1 at the following url and review it there. That application plus setting a date for a preliminary inquiry and an update on my Rowbotham application were all scheduled for the 16th. For some unknown reason Judge Morgan who normally hears my case was unable to be there and another out of town female judge was sitting in for him.
The judge, after looking over the menu, decided that she would not attempt to deal with the application for particularization and told the Crown that she would postpone that until May 28th, 2013 when Judge Morgan would be in attendance as he had been dealing with it and knew much more about the case. Seeing that I was without counsel the judge, having looked at my Rowbotham application and noted that it had all be prepared properly and had been accepted, then took the time to explain to me how and why the Rowbotham application works and when a person can file one. For obvious reasons I knew how it worked as I had already prepared the document awhile go but I stood quietly and listened to her review the process. She then explained that if I wished to have counsel prior to the planned preliminary enquiry that I would have to apply beforehand but that if, after the preliminary enquiry, it was determined that the case would proceed to trial then I would have to file a second Rowbotham application in order to obtain another counsel to represent me in the trial.
I had received a package of material from the Ministry of Justice Legal Services Branch on May 11th in response to my Notice of Application and Affidavit which I had served on the AGBC April 23, 2013. In it Keith Evans, legal counsel for the Attorney General of British Columbia (AGBC), explained all the details of how to go about filling in the additionally required documents related to the application and also informing me that I would have to decide beforehand whether or not I wished to have the application relate to obtaining counsel for the preliminary enquiry or the pending trial or both. If both then I would have to submit two separate applications.
At this point I asked the honourable judge if I might ask her a question and she consented. I wanted clarification as to primary purpose of holding a preliminary enquiry and I asked the judge if, in fact, the preliminary enquiry was meant to determine whether or not the Crown had a strong enough case to warrant going to trial. She answered in the affirmative saying yes, that was the main reason for conducting such a procedure. I said thank you for explaining that.
It was around this point in the proceedings that Crown counsel Jennifer Johnston brought up the new item mentioned earlier. She informed the judge that she had just recently received word from Det. Wilson’s “E-Division” office in Surrey, B.C. that additional information had gathered and was being sent to Crown and that the Attorney General’s office was now planning to take the unusual step of attempting to circumvent my right to a preliminary enquiry by going for what the Crown termed “a Direct Indictment”, a process by which I would be forced to go to trial without having the opportunity to argue against the Crown’s charges as laid out in the original Indictment of November 5th, 2012.
Crown counsel Johnston then informed the judge that no final decision had been made as of today but that she expected the Attorney General’s office would have their final decree in place prior to the next court appearance this coming May 28th, 2013. At this point Cst. Wilson was sending the additional to Crown via a thumb drive or memory stick and that I would also be receiving a copy of whatever new “evidence” they had come up with in their “ongoing investigation”.
All that covered the judge then looked at me. I gave her a sort of dazed and confused look and she, half-smiling and half-laughing, apologized for all the apparent incertitude and then did her best to provide me with a general overview of what had transpired, ended by saying that everything would be postponed until the return of Judge Morgan on May 28th, 2013.
[Editorial comment: The new item of going for a Direct Indictment on the part of the Attorney General’s office still remains a mystery to me at this point. They are obviously not happy with my wanting to have a preliminary enquiry which is standard procedure in most cases. They are also planning to introduce additional evidence or information into the case. Where would that evidence come from? One can only assume that it comes from whatever additional posts I have been making on the RadicalPress.com website. Why additional evidence in the first place? Didn’t they feel they had enough already?
Feedback on these issues is always appreciated.
As Walt Disney used to say at the end of his productions, “Stay Tune Folks!“]
For Justice and Freedom of Speech for Everyone Everywhere, Arthur Topham Publisher & Editor The Radical Press “Digging to the root of the issues since 1998”
PLEASE NOTE: More than ever, now that my former lawyer Douglas Christie has died, I am dependent upon financial help to carry on.
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