TS'PETEN DEFENCE COMMITTEE
174-1472 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, Salish Territory, V5L 3X9
Phone: (604) 322-7934, Fax: (604) 323-0224
March 17, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VANCOUVER, Salish Territory -- In early 1994 Jack Cram was retained by Renate Andres-Auger, a lawyer and Cree woman, who had challenged the B.C. courts on errors and irregularities of the Delgamuukw case (the Gitksan-Wet'suwet'en case) after Judge McEachern of the Supreme Court of B.C. come down with his trial level decision on the case. She hired Mr. Cram after the Law Society seized her office, books, bank account, and were investigating her without telling her why.
The Law Society of B.C. was attempting to disbar lawyer Renate Andres-Auger. They used a lot of excuses. They seized her accounts and tied it all up with one thing or another and were looking for some kind of excuse in the whole process to close her down. They never were able to come up with anything but they froze her bank account and forced her to close her office.
She had been doing research on the Delgamuukw case and had dug up information that was very damning to the judiciary in that whole process. She had proof that the judge, the crown council, and a couple of the lawyers that were supposedly acting on behalf of the Gitksan-Wet'suwet'en in fact had associations with the same law firm and had conspired to fix the outcome of that "precedent setting" case from the outset.
When Jack Cram saw her evidence and subsequent treatment, he went all out to assist her to uncover more information. Mr. Cram also received instructions from a number of Gitksan Hereditary Chiefs to proceed with a fraud action against both levels of government, the Chief Justice, and Gitksan's own legal team. Mr. Cram took the information to the court to demand that they release Andres-Auger's bank account and that she be reinstated as a practising lawyer. Cram also formally alleged massive corruption, and proceeded to file a number of court actions to address this.
During court proceedings in the Supreme Court B.C. at 800 Smithe Street in Vancouver, on April 26, 1994, they charged Cram with contempt and the Judge asked Cram if he wanted a lawyer to defend him. Cram responded saying Andres-Auger would act as his defence lawyer which she did and did an excellent job. The judge ordered her to keep quite and did not accept her as Mr. Cram's lawyer which she protested. The judge then ordered her removed and the sheriffs dragged Andres-Auger out of the court and you could hear her thumping down the stairs behind the judge's bench.
Jack Cram moved into the spectator area where there were over 80 supporters. Cram got right into the middle of the supporters and the Judge kept saying "you come back up here" and Cram said not unless you guarantee that you are not going to grab me and drag me out. Cram said "I'll go up there but unless you give me that assurance, I'm going to stand here amongst my friends." At that point the Judge ordered the sheriffs to "go in and drag him out" and when the deputies moved in, Mr. Cram turned to the supporters and said "are going to let them drag me out?" There was no fist fights and no one urge anyone to attach the judge or any of the officials. Other than Mr. Cram being dragged away the same way Andres-Auger was, one supporter, attempting to protect Mr. Cram, blocked the way of two of the deputy sheriffs.
After Mr. Cram was removed, the spectators refused to leave the court and there was a standoff in the courtroom itself. Within minutes there were 18-20 sheriffs in the room and the Vancouver City Police, arrived outside the court house. City police vans where all around and there was about 30-40 police surrounding the court house. The people refused to leave and they were demanding that the judge come back and explain what he had done and why. There were fears that someone may get hurt.
Bill Lightbown, who was present, was able to convince people to leave the courtroom and meet outside the room where there was a larger area and they could decide what they where going to do next. Before leaving the court room, Mr. Lightbown said to the sheriffs "You should be ashamed of yourselves because you know as well as anyone else in there that what happened there was a disgrace and if you expect your children and grandchildren to live in a proper society you should not allow yourselves to be involved in such a thing."
Outside of the court they put together a small committee which immediately went to Jack Cram's office which is very nearby. Ms. Andres-Auger was released within an hour and immediately joined the committee in Mr. Cram's office. From there they contacted another lawyer and requested a habeas-corpus writ to demand Mr. Cram's release. The justice system, when they heard about this, and after being held for four hours, released Jack Cram.
Mr. Cram and the small committee of supporters worked for about two weeks where they gathered more information regarding the Delgamuukw case and various other actions by the justice system that were coming to light -- preparing to return to court. During this time Renate Andres-Auger disappeared and the TV media smeared Mr. Cram, which included remarks by one of Mr. Cram's associate's, a lawyer and friend, who cast Mr. Cram in a very bad light. Mr. Cram was willing to defend himself in the media when given the opportunity.
One night at about 11:30 p.m., after finishing a radio interview, Mr. Cram returned home, parked his car, and while walking to his apartment building five policemen emerged out of the bushes and leaped on him. He was put in an unmarked van and as soon as they got him in they "shot him full of something" and he was transported to the psychiatric ward of Vancouver General Hospital -- as a "no information" patient. When the committee found out where Mr. Cram was, they had to go to Prince George, some 800 kms away, to find a lawyer who would file a habeas-corpus writ to release Mr. Cram but it was never used as Mr. Cram was again, unexpectedly, released after being held this time for 7 days.
Mr. Cram went directly from the psychiatric ward to a meeting of the committee that was under way at the same time. He was still under the effects of the drugs that had been administered to him up until about two hours prior to his release. But he was able to explain everything that had happened. It was two of his closest associates, one of which was the one who had bad mouthed him on TV, that signed papers to have Mr. Cram committed.
After a trial, the court disbarred him for a year and fined him $10,000. He was bankrupt and had lost his practice. Cram moved to his ranch in Princeton, a community about 130 km north of Vancouver.
According to Judge Gibbs, in making his recent judgment on Dr. Clark's appeal, said "after [Mr. Cram] received treatment for his paranoid-delusions mental illness, he subsequently dropped all his court cases that he had started in his delusional phase" and one of the conditions for returning to the bar after one year was that he continue to receive psychiatric treatment for that year. Mr. Cram could have been jailed for three months if he didn't receive the treatment or defaulted on paying the fine.
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For More Information, or for copies of documents related to the above, please contact:
Bill Lightbown, phone: (604) 251-4949For more information, check out the Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty website:
Ts'peten Defence Committee, phone: (604) 322-7934, fax: (604) 323-0224