Peter J. Smith

UPDATE: Kline tells ethics panel, ‘You are violating my due process rights!’

Peter J. Smith
Peter J. Smith

TOPEKA, March 1, 2011 ( – Former attorney general Phill Kline, on trial for alleged ethics violations committed during his investigation of Planned Parenthood, told the disciplinary panel hearing his case that they were depriving him of due process by taking away the time he was supposed to have been allotted to defend himself.

Originally Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett was supposed to be given five days to make his case, while Kline’s attorneys was supposed to have three days, and conclude on Wednesday. Hazlett has now taken a seventh day to make his case against Kline on just one count out of two. But instead of granting Kline’s lawyers extra time, the disciplinary panel insists that they will finish by tomorrow, Wednesday.

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, who is on-site at the trial in Topeka, spoke with by telephone to report that the disciplinary panel, presided by Kansas lawyer Jo Ann Butaud, denied a continuance of the trial today. However, they said they would take Kline’s due process concerns “under consideration.”

Kline has objected that Hazlett, who spent five years investigating him and filed 30,000 pages of documents against Kline to make his case, is getting extended time from the panel. He has also pointed out that his legal counsel has been fired and replaced twice by AG Stephen Six, and the members of his new counsel (Reid Holbrook and Mark Stafford) have only had since September to review Hazlett’s documents and prepare a defense, putting him at a further disadvantage.

Stanek also said the attorneys told her they “may” file for a summary dismissal this afternoon.

Kline Ethics investigators participating or ignoring federal crimes/ethics violations?

Stanek told by telephone that the trial has also exposed Hazlett’s unwillingness to investigate ethics violations committed by Kline’s legal adversaries. She said the testimony also showed that Hazlett’s office has been willing to use evidence obtained unlawfully or illegally in order to prosecute Kline.

Today’s testimony revealed, first: Hazlett has not investigated Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe for intercepting and opening a private package in January 2009 mailed to Phill Kline – a potential felony under US postal laws – because it was sent to the wrong address. Howe passed along a black three-ring binder and Kline’s personal diary to the Disciplinary Administrator’s Office by October 2009. Hazlett continues to retain Kline’s mail as part of the ethics investigation.

Second, Kline testified that he was not the one who originated the CD that Tiller attorney Dan Monnat said he “mysteriously” found on the defense counsel’s table at a Wichita hearing for Tiller in November 2008. The CD was not in an inventory of Kline’s files that he provided to the Kansas Supreme Court, meaning that somebody else copied files from the AG’s computer server and gave the sensitive data to Monnat.

The CD also had copies of individual’s medical records, information about open investigations related to child rape investigations over live-births, and abortion-related data that had nothing to do with the Tiller case. Monnat kept the files 14 months, a potential violation of federal HIPAA laws protecting patient privacy. It was also raised that Monnat may have violated Kansas Ethics Rule 4.4 by retaining the CD and combing through the data once he learned that it was the property of Attorney General Six’s office and was required to be returned.

However, trial testimony showed that Hazlett’s office neither investigated Monnat, nor did they investigate who stole sensitive information from the AG server for Tiller’s attorney.

Third, it was asked in the trial why Hazlett was not pursuing as vigorous an investigation into serious allegations of impropriety by Paul Morrison as they had into the allegations about Kline.

Stanek said that Linda Carter, Morrison’s former paramour, testified by telephone to the panel Tuesday that Morrison tried to pressure her into changing her testimony, and speak against Kline. Carter, who was told by Morrison to stay at the DA office in Johnson County to keep tabs on Kline for him, also said that Morrison had two assistant DAs in Kline’s office spy and report to him about what Kline was doing, and would also call them for updates.

Kline faces charges of ethical misconduct – in part – for allegedly withholding documents related to the Tiller investigation from Morrison.

See also Video: Kline says ‘those in power’ blocked Planned Parenthood, Tiller investigation

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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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