Thursday August 12, 2010

Ontario’s Crown Accused of Abusing Legal System in Linda Gibbons Case

By Patrick B. Craine

TORONTO, Ontario, August 12, 2010 ( – Before a courtroom packed with pro-life supporters Tuesday, lawyers for pro-life heroine Linda Gibbons argued that the Crown has abused the legal system by deliberately circumventing a legal challenge against the “temporary” injunction Gibbons is accused of violating.

The National Post’s Charles Lewis, who recently published a cover story on Gibbons, was present at the proceedings, which he related in a Tuesday report.

Gibbons has been imprisoned continuously since January 20, 2009, when she was arrested outside the downtown “Scott Clinic,” which is protected by a 1994 court injunction banning pro-life activity within a specified zone.

According to Lewis, lawyers Daniel Santoro and Nicolas Rouleau told provincial court justice Mara Beth Greene that they believe the Crown has continued to prosecute Gibbons through the criminal courts to keep the 16-year-old injunction, which was issued by a civil court, from being challenged in civil court.

Santoro says he believes the Crown has charged Gibbons under the Criminal Code because they do not think they can justify the need to make the ‘temporary’ injunction permanent. “They have used the criminal process as a strategy to avoid an inquest on the civil side,” he said Tuesday, according to Lewis.

Santoro asked that the Crown’s internal documents be assessed, to see if they ever mentioned the strategy in a memo with the Attorney General.

The judge replied that the allegation was “horrible,” and asked how they could justify it. “Because nothing has happened [in the civil court] in 16 years,” Santoro responded.

The Crown argued, however, that their communications with the Attorney General are not admissible because they fall under attorney-client privilege.

Outside the College Park courtroom, a large crowd staged a Show the Truth demonstration using large signs to show the reality of abortion.

A hearing is scheduled for September 2, and the trial is expected to begin on September 8.

See related coverage:

Gibbons Trial, Pickets Outside, Packed Courtroom

Linda Gibbons Hits Cover of National Post

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