Feb 26/97 - Gustafsen Lake trial continues, media disappears


- posted to sovernet-l by Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

February 26, 1997
S.I.S.I.S. Bulletin

After a flurry of stories surrounding Bruce Clark's arrest, the mainstream media have for several days failed to appear at the Ts'peten (Gustafsen Lake) trial. A reliable source from one of the major dailies leaked that reporters have been instructed to discontinue trial coverage, despite explosive testimony since the defense began its case last week.

Jurors were shown a videotape on Thursday, February 20, with compelling evidence that RCMP faked a highly publicized shooting. Then on Monday, February 24, 1997, the court heard testimony that placed Joseph (Jo Jo) Ignace in Chase BC on August 18, 1995, the day that he is alleged to have fired upon a heavily armed RCMP commando unit creeping around the Sundancers camp at dawn, dressed in unmarked camouflage clothing. It is believed that the "covert probe" was "compromised" when one of the officers accidentally discharged a new and unfamiliar weapon. RCMP phone records of anxious inquiries from the camp regarding the suspected "white supremacists" show the calls went unanswered. Recordings of the calls themselves were apparently destroyed by police. Also destroyed, according to RCMP, were records of phone taps on the Ignace home on the Adams Lake Reserve, which would have proven that police knew Ignace Jr. was at home, miles away from Gustafsen lake, when the "attempted murder" allegedly occurred.

During the long period of his incarceration Joseph Ignace was repeatedly beaten, subjected to long interrogations of many hours, naked and without counsel present despite his repeated requests for lawyer Bruce Clark. The brutal treatment of Jo Jo eventually led to suicide attempts while in custody and deteriorating mental and emotional conditions such that he was eventually released on bail. The probable targeting of Jo Jo for "special" treatment is thought to have been an attempt to break the spirit of his father William Ignace, "Wolverine," who remains in custody without bail. The indomitable Shuswap elder continues to assert the sovereign rights of his people over their unceded territories. He recently turned 65 - in jail.

Wolverine and several others have been self-represented in this trial, waiting for access to their counsel of choice Bruce Clark. Clark has been imprisoned on contempt of court charges, and was today denied bail. He is scheduled to appeal the contempt decision in mid-March. Funds for other Ts'peten Defenders' legal aid lawyers were stopped just as the defense was beginning their case after more than 7 months of prosecution.

Please spread the word - by any means necessary. Please tell Canada to pay attention:

Vancouver Sun / Vancouver Province (Southam)

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Globe and Mail - national newspaper

Canadian Human Rights Commission
Email: info@chrc.ca


Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty (S.I.S.I.S)
PO Box 8673, Victoria, BC V8X 3S2 Canada
Email: riwaasa@indiana.edu or uc389@freenet.victoria.bc.ca
WWW: http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/SISmain.html

Ts'peten Defence Committee
174-1472 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, Salish Territory, V5L 3X9
Phone: (604) 322-7934, Fax: (604) 323-0224
   Splitting the Sky - Phone/Fax: (604) 543-9661
   Bill Lightbown - Phone: (604) 251-4949

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