Native protester denied bail a second time

Native protester denied bail a second time

March 01, 2008
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
CAYUGA ( Mar 1, 2008 )

A native activist facing serious criminal charges, including attempted murder, has been denied bail for the second time since he was arrested last year.

Albert Kirk Douglas, 32, has been at the Barton Street jail since he was picked up during a routine traffic check outside Cornwall on Sept. 27, 2007.

He faces more than a dozen criminal charges in connection with the OPP raid at Douglas Creek Estates on April 20, 2006, and two other incidents in Caledonia on June 9, 2006. The June 9 incidents involved an attack on two television camera crew at the Canadian Tire parking lot and hijacking of a U.S. law enforcement vehicle.

During the hijacking, it’s alleged Douglas tried to back over an OPP officer who’d fallen out of the vehicle and was lying semiconscious on the pavement.

He faces counts of robbery and assault in relation to the attack on the camera crew and charges of dangerous driving, forcible confinement and attempted murder in relation to the hijacking.

On Oct. 15, 2007, more than two weeks after his arrest, justice of the peace Paul Welsh denied Douglas’s application for bail in Cayuga court.

Welsh concluded that Douglas, who wasn’t represented by a lawyer, was a flight risk and posed a substantial likelihood of committing more offences if he were released on bail. He also ruled releasing him into the community would undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice.

During many court appearances, the soft-spoken activist has portrayed himself as a freedom fighter and prisoner of war and said he doesn’t recognize the jurisdiction of the Canadian courts.

Superior Court Justice Stephen Glithero upheld Welsh’s ruling when he conducted a mandatory review of Douglas’s detention in Cayuga court yesterday.

He imposed a publication ban on evidence heard during the bail review, lawyers’ submissions and his own reasons for denying bail.

During the review, Douglas was represented by Caledonia lawyer Aubrey D. Hillilard, who made an impassioned plea for his release.

She proposed two sureties to make sure Douglas would abide by his bail conditions, including his sister Angel Smith. She was one of more than two dozen spectators who had come to support Douglas’s bid for bail. He showed no emotion when the judge turned him down.

“He’s trying to keep his spirits up and stay positive,” Hillilard told reporters outside the courtroom.

She said Douglas will have access to a computer at the Barton Street jail, which will enable him to review the many pages of material the Crown has disclosed to the defence.

Hillilard said she will also try to expedite the proceedings by having him tried separately in cases where he was jointly charged.

“They have the luxury of time,” she said. She was referring to the fact that all the other protesters had been granted bail and would be out of custody until their trials.

Hillilard said she asked for a publication ban because the extensive media attention may have hurt his chances of obtaining bail.

“There has been so much media coverage and so much frenzy in relation to Albert’s (case),” she said.

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