[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]
Native Indian rights lawyer Bruce Clark may soon get his chance to help the defense at the Gustafsen Lake trial in Surrey.
Clark, who has been in jail in Prince George for contempt of court, could testify for the defense as early as today, his wife, Margaret, said Tuesday.
Clark's charge stemmed from an outburst at the 100 Mile House courtroom in 1995. He was acting for some of the people charged in the armed standoff at Gustafsen Lake when he threw a sheaf of papers at the judge and accused him of running a kangaroo court.
The standoff began over the occupation of private ranchland by Indians and supporters who claimed it was sacred, unceded territory. It ended peacefully after about a month. Eighteen Indians and non-Indians face mischief and weapons charges. Two of them also face charges of attempted murder.
Clark returned to B.C. in February hoping to represent some of the defendants again, but was arrested.
Clark's wife said she has been talking to her husband at least once a day since he went to jail. She said it is important that Clark be able to appear at the B.C. Supreme Court trial.
"He's the only lawyer who can raise, not only raise, but defend the clients' point of law and jurisdiction. And the other thing is he can act as a witness for these clients and the defence."
She said she and the Clarks' three children are proud of what he is doing. "It takes courage to do what he has done. The two teenagers in Ottawa are handing out pamphlets out there saying this is what's really going on. Our eldest son is at the house holding down the fort."