Thursday, September 02, 2010
Via wmtc, this fearful story, putting us in mind of various totalitarian states--but this is Canada, if not a Canada I recognize:
Two months after he was pulled over in his car, surrounded by two dozen police officers and arrested for having a crossbow near the G20 zone in downtown Toronto, a 53-year-old man with mental-health issues is still in jail.
Gary McCullough was one the first people taken into custody by G20 security personnel, and though they quickly acknowledged he had nothing to do with the summit of world leaders, he is one of the last still in detention.
The Crown acknowledges it has no direct proof of a dangerous purpose and will rely on circumstantial evidence.
And here are the prison conditions:
Jail culture has unwritten rules — who can use the phone when, what to do when you come back from a court hearing (shower), how to talk to the guards (don't) — that McCullough's mental condition hinders his ability to appreciate.
"The way he put it once was that he was very much out of his element," recalled Alex Hundert, who spent two weeks in the same jail range as McCullough before making bail on charges that he conspired with other protest leaders to foment vandalism during the G20.
One altercation with another inmate turned violent, and while neither Hundert nor defence lawyer Carlisle would divulge details, McCullough's father said his son suffered several broken ribs. He was moved into segregated custody, where, barring a successful appeal of his bail, he will remain until his Oct. 6 trial in Toronto.
Meanwhile, his psychological and emotional states have been deteriorating.
If the Crown can arrange another delay, maybe this problem will resolve itself.
Meanwhile, the Hassan Diab extradition case stumbles along. Diab stands accused of a synagogue bombing in Paris three decades ago, largely on the strength of handwriting "analysis" that has since proven to be sloppy and incompetent. But nothing, it seems, will stop the zealous French authorities, the Canadian Crown and the judge in the case.
"If you don't like those handwriting samples, we have others," says France. The Canadian prosecutor has tried to prevent the defence from leading expert testimony to deal with this convenient new evidence. And the judge has now admitted that evidence, seeing no abuse of process here whatsoever. Justice is blind, but must it also be thick?
Words like "frame-up," and "profiling" occur to me, but I shall restrain myself. After all, this is Canada. It can't happen here.
UPDATE: Alison at Creekside on "things that make you go 'Hmmmm.'" And read her post on Gary McCullough, which I'd somehow missed (h/t dBO in the comments).
Posted by Dr.Dawg at 10:36 AM