Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Jean Brault Criminal Trial pushed Back One Month – May Not Be Enough to Lift Publication Ban

The Globe and Mail is reporting today that the criminal trial of Jean Brault will begin on June 6. He is charged under the criminal code for his role in the $250 million sponsorship money laundering scheme set up by the liberal government. Mr. Brault’s trial was originally scheduled for May 2, but he complained that he did not have enough time to prepare his defence. He had asked that the trial be postponed until September, but was granted only a one month reprieve.

Justice Gomery was to decide today at 3pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time, whether or not to lift a publication ban. The Gomery Inquiry currently has a publication ban which prevents testimony from being reported to the public, a move that was supposed to help ensure Jean Brault gets a fair trial. Rumours have been circulating that if Jean Brault’s criminal trial were to be postponed until September then the publication ban may be lifted.

In spite of the publication ban, an American blogger named Ed Morrissey has been publishing details of Jean Brault’s testimony at the Gomery Inquiry. Mr. Morrissey, also known as Captain Ed, runs a weblog called Captain’s Quarters. Details of Jean Brault’s testimony can be found at his site in both French and English.

Some Canadian bloggers, including us at The Blue Maple Leaf, have posted excerpts of the Captain’s banned articles with links back to his web site in flagrant violation of the publication ban. Canada's attorney general is investigating Canadian bloggers for possible contempt of court charges. Gomery Inquiry spokesperson Patrick Charette has been making empty threats all week to Canadian bloggers who are in defiance of the publication ban.

Threats made by Mr. Charette have included going after bloggers that post excerpts of Jean Brault’s testimony, including the part where he details how he hired liberal party organizers and laundered money through his ad firm for liberal ridings in Quebec. His threats were then expanded to bloggers that dare to name Captain’s Quarters as the website where the banned testimony can be found. He then followed this up by threatening to prosecute bloggers that link to the Captain’s Quarters website.

This author sure wishes that mouth piece Charette would either put up or shut up, because a weeks worth of empty threats is pathetic already.

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