Accused defiant in court

Accused defiant in court

December 06, 2007
Dana Borcea
The Hamilton Spectator
CAYUGA (Dec 6, 2007)

A native man accused of trying to run over an OPP officer in Caledonia with a hijacked car repeated his rejection of the court’s jurisdiction during a brief appearance yesterday.

Albert Douglas read a prepared statement from the witness box condemning the court for interfering with the sovereign laws of his people whom he described as signatories of the original treaties with the British Crown.

He also accused the court of violating his rights “under its own laws” by not providing him with full disclosure of the Crown’s case against him in a timely manner.

Douglas, 31, of Ohsweken, has been in custody for two months and faces numerous charges.

Among them is an attempted murder charge that stems from the hijacking of a U.S. Border Patrol car. Protesters at the former Douglas Creek Estates swarmed the unmarked car and allegedly forced the two OPP officers and U.S. border agent out of the car. Witnesses said the vehicle then tried to back over one of the OPP officers who had collapsed on the street.

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Douglas who was arrested during a routine traffic stop on Highway 401 in Morrisburg, Ont.

Douglas is also charged in connection with an attack on two CHCH News cameramen in 2006.

Ontario Court of Justice Judge Ann Watson asserted her authority in the matter yesterday.

“I do take jurisdiction over you at this time.”

Watson urged the accused to seek legal counsel. She also spelled out the choices before him now, including whether he would like a jury trial or one with a judge alone and whether he wanted a preliminary hearing. She warned that such decisions would be made for him if he did not choose.

About 35 supporters packed the small courtroom, at times heckling Watson with cries such as: “This is a farce” and “release him.”

His next appearance in the Cayuga courthouse is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Nine protesters arrested during an occupation of the Stirling Woods subdivision in Caledonia last September also had a scheduled hearing yesterday. The group, including two youths, was remanded out of custody until Jan. 2.

They face numerous charges, ranging from mischief to aggravated assault.

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