Christie Blatchford, Globe & Mail, April 21/10
- 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.
- Regional News, Gary McHale, Sept 02/09: Judge asked, “Why are you pursuing this case?”
…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:
- Globe & Mail, Christie Blatchford, April 21/10: Charges stayed against relentless critic of Ontario Provincial Police in Caledonia occupation [PDF]
- Globe & Mail, Christie Blatchford, April 21/10, 11:07 am: Rare charge stayed against Caledonia activist (breaking story)
- CH News, April 21/10: Charge dropped against Gary McHale
- Canadian Press, April 21/10: Crown stays mischief charge against Caledonia, Ont., activist Gary McHale REPRINT
- Hamilton Spectator, April 21/10: Judge stays McHale mischief charge REPRINT
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.