Category Archives: McHale Trial

CANACE video – Blatchford on Caledonia and targeting of McHale by “prime minister’s new best friend”

Christie Blatchford, Chedoke Presbyterian church, Nov 16/10, Hamilton, ON

Christie Blatchford, Chedoke Presbyterian church, Nov 16/10, Hamilton, ON

Jeff Parkinson, co-founder of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE), has released a short video containing highlights from Christie Blatchford’s speech to a packed crowd at  Chedoke Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario on Nov 16/10.

In addition to commenting on the “national disgrace” of  the lawlessness OPP officers refused to stop, she decries the targeting of Gary McHale by Julian Fantino: 

“Fantino’s extraordinary campaign to hunt down and have arrested a man named Gary McHale – who is here tonight, too – culminated in the OPP boss writing a letter of support for a native man who had assaulted McHale was probably un-precedented and was deeply disturbing. Consider how furious women would be if the justice system reverted to the days of old when a rapist should defend himself by saying, ‘Geez your Honour, she was wearing these high boots and a short skirt.’ Thats the equivalent of what Fantino did. He wrote a letter to the court in support of the man who pleaded guilty of punching McHale and said McHale had been asking for it.

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Copy of ‘Obstructing Justice’ charge order vs. now-OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis

Justice Walsh's signed order that former OPP Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent Ron Gentle face Obstructing Justice charges. Click to enlarge.

Justice Walsh's signed order that former OPP Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent Ron Gentle face Obstructing Justice charges. Click to enlarge.

Gary McHale has supplied VoiceofCanada with a copy of the charge order (called an ‘information’) signed on Feb 16/10 by Justice of the Peace Walsh after he ruled McHale had presented sufficient evidence to charge former Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and Superintendent Ron Gentle with Obstructing Justice in the case against him. 

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McGuinty appoints cop charged with Obstructing Justice as head of OPP

Gary & Christine McHale on courthouse steps after Crown dropped charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed, April 21/10. Charges were dropped after McHale presented evidence before a Justice of the Peace resulting in Obstructing Justice charges against two senior OPP officials - including newly appointed Commissioner Chris Lewis.

Gary & Christine McHale on courthouse steps after Crown dropped charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed, April 21/10. Charges were dropped after McHale presented evidence before a Justice of the Peace resulting in Obstructing Justice charges against two senior OPP officials - including newly appointed Commissioner Chris Lewis.

UPDATE: Hamilton Spectator editorial, July 09/10: New OPP boss, same old line [PDF]

UPDATE: Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer calls on new OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis to end two-tier justice in Caledonia. 

UPDATE: Copy of ‘Obstructing Justice’ charge order vs. now-OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis
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““After a thorough search, it was clear that Commissioner Lewis is a great fit,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters.” Globe & Mail, July 07/10

UPDATED 1026 July 09/10 — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has appointed Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis as the new head of the Ontario Provincial Police. Lewis is one of two senior Fantino underlings who faced Obstructing Justice charges for following his boss’s explicit orders to target Gary McHale for a criminal charge at the outset of an investigation, and not to “get bogged down with legal nuances” in order to do it.

The Ottawa Citizen’s story was the first to acknowledge the charge, followed by the Hamilton Spectator one day later:

Fantino faced criminal charges earlier this year, which were later dropped by the Crown, over allegations of attempting to influence a municipal official during the native occupation in Caledonia. Lewis, too, faced a charge of attempting to obstruct justice in the same matter. The charge was also dropped, he said.

The issue led to activist Gary McHale founding a movement –Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality — and, in some cases, saw him charging OPP officers for alleging overstepping their authority in the affair. This included Lewis, who was accused of obstruction of justice by McHale in regards to a 2007 rally. The charge was dropped in May.

Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer asks Lewis to end racial policing

“Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer is calling on new OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis to end what she terms was the practice of two-tier justice in Caledonia under outgoing Commissioner Julian Fantino.”

OPPA internal documents show Chris Lewis made DCE occupation a ‘homefree zone’ for native criminals

Unfortunately, Mayor Trainer’s call on Chris Lewis to end two-tier justice/racial policing will likely fall on deaf ears since he was one of its key architects and enforcers. 

Christie Blatchford, who is writing a book about Caledonia that should be ready later this year, reveals that internal documents from the Ontario Provincial Police Association (the very organization that falsely accused Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas of inciting violence and hatred in a 2007 press release, and is currently being sued for defamation by the two) show that Chris Lewis made it clear native criminals scampering back onto the Douglas Creek Estates occupation site bought by the province were absolutely untouchable by the OPP – unless, perhaps, they kidnapped somebody’s child (emphasis by VoC):

The Globe and Mail has obtained OPPA minutes of the spring, 2008, meeting, one of two that the force’s senior command have every year with the police union and where they answer questions.

The minutes show that Detective-Sergeant Roger Geysons, president of the branch encompassing Caledonia, prefaced a question by noting that there had been several recent occurrences “involving First Nations persons observed committing a criminal act and subsequently fleeing” onto DCE.

He demanded to know what written orders there were, and concluded, “Are OPP members allowed on DCE?”

Mr. Lewis, then deputy commissioner, with Commissioner Fantino at his side, replied that it was “news to me that this was still an issue” and said, “Short of somebody having a kid kidnapped and running onto the DCE, we’re not going to go onto that property. It’s just a recipe for disaster and it will set things back there.”

Gary McHale’s associate and fellow CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson has seen racial policing up close. He made legal history with McHale’s help after fighting a two year battle that culminated when the Crown withdrew charges of Mischief ordered by a Superior Court judge against two OPP officers he filmed assisting native protesters to build a barricade to keep the lawful owner out of his Hagersville property: 

[Lewis has] been working closely with Julian Fantino to make crucial decisions that have oppressed the rights of non Natives in Caledonia.

He was the architect of the ART team (now known as the provincial liaison team) who were responsible for pandering to the whims of Natives while turning a blind eye to criminal behaviour. It’s hard to imagine such a stupid idea as a “response” team within a police force that’s dedicated to one race of people, but that’s what happened under the leadership of the soon to be commissioner. […]

Lewis shows absolutely no remorse for the unreasonable manner in which he helped persecute an innocent man. When asked by the Globe & Mail if he had any regrets in the way that McHale was pursued, he said “none, absolutely none”.

Other coverage of Chris Lewis appointment

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Gary McHale to appear on Michael Coren Show

Michael Coren ShowUPDATE June 02/10: Gary McHale’s appearance went very well. He was only allotted a half hour instead of the hour expected because Coren wanted to devote time to the Israel/Gaza situation. He did promise to have McHale on again in the future. Video now available:

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UPDATED May 31/10 — Gary McHale will appear on the Michael Coren show on Tuesday, June 01/10.

Coren had originally scheduled McHale for just a half-hour session, but after reviewing some of the documentation provided, he decided to devote the entire show to McHale and Caledonia.

My understanding is that one of the key topics to be discussed is the targeting of McHale for criminal charges by the OPP despite the lack of evidence. This will, of course, lead to a very interesting discussion about the racial policing practices used against Haldimand County residents.

The show will be aired Tuesday night at 6pm on CTS TV and again on Wednesday at 12:30 pm.

Tuning in across Canada

Gary McHale has sent out an email to his supporters – which live all across Canada – with this update:

The Michael Coren Show is on CTS Television – cable 19 with Mountain Cable, Cable 36 or 17 for Cogeco, cable 9 on Rogers in Toronto, ExpressVu – 651/Star Choice – 355/Look – 19.

For a full list of stations throughout Canada that will be airing the Michael Coren Show please see: http://www.ctstv.com/ontario/tuningin.php

According to Coren’s website, his show has 250,000 viewers each night.

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McHale’s victory is Ontario’s victory

“The Ontario attorney-general has stopped a bizarre prosecution against Caledonia activist Gary McHale.”

Christie Blatchford, Globe & Mail, April 21/10

UPDATE:

  • Caledonia Victims Project feature: R. v. Gary McHale (Counselling Mischief Not Committed

UPDATED 1817 April 22/10 — Today, the Crown dropped the charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed against Gary McHale — nearly two and a half years after a pretrial judge told the Attorney General not to bring the case to trial.

In my last post I outlined some very powerful reasons why the Crown might want to take such an action, including the fact that two of Fantino’s most senior officers have already faced Obstructing Justice charges because of the disclosure given to McHale, and the fact that the Superior Court could very well order the former Deputy Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to turn over her emails to McHale.

I suppose the Crown and government finally realized that McHale already had enough evidence to use  in private prosecutions against his persecutors, and that providing even more to open a door into the Minister’s office wasn’t such a good idea.

Photo above: Gary & Christine McHale stand on John Sopinka Courthouse steps in Hamilton after charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed dropped; by Mark Vandermaas, April 21/10.

A deluded Crown tries to put lipstick on a pig…

The Crown read a prepared statement into the record that stated it still believed it could obtain a conviction, but thought it better not to waste Court time due to the “unique circumstances” of the case. McHale then spoke for a minute or so, pointing out that the Crown had neglected to mention some key facts: the Obstructing Justice charges; and the fact that the Deputy Minister had her fingers in the pie along with Fantino’s. He also pointed out that the pre-trial judge warned the Crown not to bring the case to trial.

…but the media weren’t buying pork today.

Gary was interviewed in the courtroom hallway afterwards by both the Spectator and Christie Blatchford of the Globe & Mail who got up a post and photo shortly after 11 am. We then paid a visit to CH News who immediately put Gary and his story on live at 12 Noon as breaking news, and ran the story every thirty minutes thereafter:

The idea that the Crown had a chance of convicting McHale after two senior officers associated with his case were charged with Obstructing Justice (never mind the direct interference by Fantino, and possibly, the DM) was nothing short of laughable. I overheard Christie Blatchford on her phone talking about the charge, presumably with her editor, saying, “…yeah, the charge they made up.”  It was rather amusing.

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McHale seeks court order for Deputy Minister emails

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BULLETIN: Crown drops charge against McHale

On Friday April 23/10 Gary McHale and the Crown will schedule a date for a ‘Stinchcombe’ hearing wherein McHale will ask the court to order the Crown to disclose certain evidence required for his defence against the charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed laid by the OPP in December 2007. For those involved in this shameful abuse of power, the implications could be severe.

STINCHCOMBE/CHARTER Application for Disclosure Hearing – date to be scheduled on April 23

Key items requested…

1. DISCLOSURE OF EMAILS TO/FROM DEPUTY MINISTER & OPP: McHale is requesting copies of emails & text messages between OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and the Deputy Minister for  the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Deborah Newman (photo below) as they pertain to the charge against him. 

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Minister knew about OPP obstruction allegations in 2008

UPDATED 1308 March 19/10 — Nearly two years before yesterday’s issuance of Obstructing Justice charges against OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and Superintendent Ron Gentle, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci was informed  that serious allegations of possible criminal conduct were being made against the OPP in connection with their investigation of the Dec 01/07 Caledonia protest and the resulting charge against Gary McHale.

On May 30/08, on behalf of Gary McHale, Jeff Parkinson and myself, I sent a 71 page complaint under the Police Services Act to the Minister which summarized evidence alleging that Julian Fantino may have committed three criminal offences  — Obstructing Justice, Influencing Municipal Official and Breach of Trust — and asked that the RCMP be called in to investigate.

Although I/we did not, at that time, have the damning OPP emails that have now resulted in charges against Lewis and Gentle the minister was supplied with an extraordinary amount of detailed information that should have had him ringing alarm bells at RCMP HQ. Clearly, he should have been concerned: a Superior Court judge believed there was evidence to charge Fantino with Influencing Municipal Officials and now, a justice of the peace has issued process for Obstructing Justice charges against Lewis and Gentle for their involvement in the Dec 01/07 investigation.

Not only did Bartolucci refuse to call in the RCMP to investigate he didn’t bother to ask for supporting documents before dismissing the complaint out of hand. Despite a follow-up letter from me, he did not even address part 3 of the complaint which alleged Fantino may have committed a Breach of Trust by lying to the public about McHale and me.

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Senior OPP officers charged w/Obstructing Justice in McHale case

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RELATED STORIES:

UPDATE April 14/10: Gary McHale advises that, as expected, the Crown today dropped the charges against Deputy Commissioner Lewis and Superintendent Gentle after fast-tracking the hearing from April 28th to today. The Crown dropped the charge without even consulting the victim of the alleged obstruction of justice – McHale who expects to apply for a judicial review in Superior Court.

(UPDATED July 07/10) Gary McHale has confirmed that in a hearing before a Cayuga Justice of the Peace today (March 16/10), he presented sufficient evidence to convince the Justice to order that charges of Obstructing Justice be issued against OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and Superintendent Ron Gentle for their role in having him arrested after a Dec 01/07 protest where he and other non-native protesters were attacked by Six Nations people supporting an illegal smokeshack.

139(2): Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner other than a manner described in subsection (1) to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

Criminal Code of Canada, Part IV, OFFENCES AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OF LAW AND JUSTICE, Section 139(2): Obstructing Justice

CANACE’s Jeff Parkinson was the first to release this story:

Other media coverage:

The charges of attempting to obstruct justice against OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis and Superintendent Ron Gentle were laid by a justice of the peace in a Cayuga courtroom late yesterday — an occurence observers are calling “unprecedented.” […]

OPP spokesman Dave Ross said he could not comment because the force had not received any information about or confirmation of the charges yesterday.

McHale said Ross issued a summons for the two officers to appear in Cayuga court April 28.

The evidence

The evidence presented came from emails recently obtained by McHale via Crown disclosure after a nearly two year battle for full disclosure of all relevant evidence related to the charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed laid against him in connection with the Dec 01/07 protest where he was viciously attacked.

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CBC News stories vindicate CANACE founders

UPDATED Feb 04/10 — CANACE is pleased to announce that on Feb 02/10 investigative reporter John Nicol of the CBC National News published two important stories about our work.

The first focuses on how we came to have OPP Commissioner Fantino charged with a criminal offence:

Both the cops and the Six Nations people believed McHale and Vandermaas were agitators bent on encouraging unrest. Some even went so far as to accuse the pair of being white supremacists who didn’t like the province’s handling of the native demands. But anyone who believes in justice being open and transparent might just consider them heroes with what they’ve accomplished so far in Ontario courts.

Where the police have turned a blind eye, they have shone a spotlight and laid private charges, with astonishing success. To date, they have won four cases in Superior Court and now — against serious odds — have succeeded in laying criminal charges against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, the province’s top cop, for influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials.

CBC News, Feb 02/10: The 2 men who are putting a police chief on trial [PDF]

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Christie Blatchford ends Fantino’s propaganda war vs. McHale

On Jan 08/10 the Globe & Mail’s Christie Blatchford effectively cleared CANACE co-founder Gary McHale’s name  and vindicated all who stood by him in the face of Fantino’s attempts to target him for arrest and smear him with false allegations of inciting violence and injuring police officers: 

As for Mr. McHale, despite Mr. Fantino’s clear efforts, as documented in emails and court transcripts, to “take him out” – that is, have him charged with something, anything – the only crime the OPP has charged him with is the novel “counselling mischief not committed. A date for the resumption of the preliminary hearing on that charge [against Fantino] has yet to be set. Mr. McHale, as he almost always does, will represent himself – a portly, bespectacled fellow who is nonetheless proving a spirited and sharp combatant.

Globe & Mail, Christie Blatchford, Jan 08/10: ‘Activist a nagging thorn in Fantino’s side‘ [PDFREPRINT

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McHale hearing: OPP officer confirms existence of racial policing!

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UPDATE 1527 EST May 18/09: See Jeff Parkinson’s comparison of Fantino and his hero, former LA police chief Gates.

UPDATED 2322 EST May 03/09

Here are some notes of testimony at the McHale preliminary hearing heard on Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28/09.

The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether McHale should stand trial for the charge of ‘Counselling Mischief Not Committed’ for telling Doug Fleming he should get other residents to help him block the road already blocked by Fleming’s own truck. 

Notables:

  • Key testimony from OPP officer Jeff Bird about the existence of racial policing. It does exist!
  • Bizarre accusations by Fantino vs. McHale after McHale shows him evidence that a charge against Clyde Powless for assaulting an OPP officer disappeared within one hour of Fantino being notified. (The Hamilton Spectator article recounting Fantino’s testimony somehow neglected to mention this critical bit  of evidence!)
  • Fantino says McHale was investigated for possible hate crime charges but never charged. Confirms the OPP had no evidence to charge McHale with any crime prior to Dec 01/07.
  • Testimony from Sgt. Sloan, the officer who refused to arrest the natives who pushed me down, but later made the the only arrest of the day – a non-native man quietly drinking coffee on the road.  Sloan also confirms the OPP were under-manned on Dec 01/07.

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McHale hearing: ERT officer “alarmed” at lack of OPP resources for Dec 01/07 protest

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UPDATED 1948 EST June 19/09: Regional News, June 10/09: Officer Hartless speaks out in Court

UPDATE 1640 EST April 26/09: In the initial version of this story I stated incorrectly that Dave Hartless was originally scheduled as a Crown witness. 
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In my last story I reported a number of items including Fantino’s testimony at the McHale preliminary hearing on Wed, April 22/09, and the fact that court adjourned early to give McHale time to study some startling new evidence that will be entered when Fantino retakes the stand next Tuesday April 28/09  at 0900 (changed from 1000).

Here are the highlights from Thursday and Friday, including some shocking testimony from an OPP officer regarding the lack of resources provided for the Dec 01/07 protest…

Thurs, April 23/09

1. Crown witness, DWAYNE ROLLINS, former Turtle Island News reporter

  • Employed by Turtle Island News from March 2007 until Dec 23/08.
  • Fired by TIN because “for several months” he was providing stories to the Caledonia Cafe discussion board in exchange for information on the activities of non-natives. Knew that people on the board were trying to paint McHale as a criminal and white supremacist who had committed numerous crimes. Was caught when he provided a story to the Cafe that was posted prior to publication in the TIN.  Owner/editor Lynda Powless killed the TIN story, but Rollins was exposed when it appeared on the Cafe. Couldn’t remember what screen name he used on the Cafe.
  • He wanted to ‘provide balance’ to his stories.
  • Lynda Powless is a ‘challenging individual.’
  • Took video on Dec 1/07, including 5 second clip of McHale allegedly counselling Doug Fleming to get residents to help him block the road. 
  • Video was not in chronological order; a segment from the beginning of event appearing at the end of the video after a blank screen.
  • Handed video camera to TIN employee Jim Powless (son of Lynda Powless) at approx. 6pm after the protest.
  • Video recording was placed on disk by TIN employee Clyde King.
  • McHale was usually ‘calm and composed’ but on Dec 01/07 he was ‘agitated’ and ‘swore a couple of times.’ Under cross-examination however, he admitted that nowhere in his video does McHale swear, and the only time he was really agitated and upset was when he expressed his concern for wife Christine while being led away by police after being attacked by Clyde Powless.

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Fantino testimony at McHale trial: what the media didn’t report

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UPDATED 1656 EST Dec 02/08

Yesterday, I spent the entire day in a Hamilton courtroom sitting within arm’s reach of Hamilton Spectator reporter Rachel De Lazzer as we – and a group of Caledonia residents – listened to testimony from OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino that proves he has been misleading the public all along about Gary McHale. I watched as she took copious notes during testimony. Apparently there was a CHTV reporter in the court as well.

Fantino’s testimony – NO evidence against McHale

Before I comment on what these journalists reported to their respective audiences, here are what I consider to be the most important details that were exposed thanks to Fantino’s testimony under oath:

1. McHale went through a list of charges with Fantino asking if they had been laid in Caledonia, and whether or not they had been laid against him. Fantino agreed that charges for Attempted Murder; Aggravated Assault; Assault; property damage; and weapons offences had been laid in Caledonia, but not against Gary McHale. Fantino admitted that they video-record McHale’s protests, and that OPP officers were present at one of his townhall meetings.

Despite Fantino’s public allegations (repeated under oath yesterday) accusing him of committing acts of ‘mischief’ and of ‘inciting violence,’ and of being responsible for injuries to OPP officers, he admitted the OPP have never charged Gary McHale with any crime prior to the Dec 01/07 smokeshack confrontation because they have no evidence to support a charge.

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McHale Charter application alleges Fantino misconduct

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Background info, please refer to:

McHale files 3 ammended Charter challenges

Yesterday, Nov 10/08, Gary McHale filed 3 ammended Charter challenges with the Court that will be heard before his trial for ‘counselling mischief not committed’ begins. The document includes copies of three Fantino emails obtained under Crown disclosure that prove how far the Commissioner went to target McHale for arrest before any investigation had begun into the smokeshack confrontation of Dec 01/07. The emails begin on p12:

McHale’s application includes…

  • Fantino’s emails tell officers to target McHale, to work around ‘timid’ and ‘feeble’ Crown attorneys who want a ‘sure prospect of conviction,’ and not to ‘get bogged down with legal nuances.’ 
  • Fantino attempted to publicly smear his character with false accusations of links to violence and the spreading of hate while, at the same time, failing to criticize Aboriginals who had actually perpetrated acts of violence. 
  • Fantino’s use of the Criminal Code to pursue travel restrictions and to smear his reputation is a violation of the Charter.
  • Fantino and the OPP targetted him because of his race; that if he was Aboriginal the OPP would have treated him respectfully.
  • Fantino targetted him for arrest and travel restrictions as early as Dec 03/06 even though he knew McHale had committed no crime, and that when the plan didn’t work, Fantino began a defamation campaign in which he made false accusations linking McHale to violence.

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Crown turns over another ‘smoking gun’ Fantino email to McHale

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UPDATE 1318 EST Nov 14/08: Read Fantino’s emails and McHale’s Charter application: McHale Charter application alleges Fantino misconduct.
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Gary McHale has gone into court repeatedly to force the Crown to turn over evidence related to his Dec 01/07 arrest following a protest at an illegal smokeshop in Caledonia.

Evidence that included an email from OPP Julian Fantino revealing how the Commissioner ordered him to be targetted for arrest before any investigation had been done. On Oct 16/08, after reading this email, a Hamilton judge ordered the Crown to turn over all of Fantino’s communications between Dec 01-07 (date of protest to date of McHale’s arrest) concerning McHale and the protest. 

McHale has now received additional Fantino emails. One, dated Dec 02/07, is even more revealing and shocking than the first. It was sent by Fantino to a very high-ranking officer in the OPP. Unfortunately, its content can only be published and/or discussed after it is presented in court.

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