Joseph Ignace could be and probably was made to say virtually anything an interrogator wanted. On Friday, the Gustafsen Lake trial heard expert witnesses in the field of educational and clinical psychology called by defence counsel George Wool on behalf of his client Joseph "JoJo" Ignace, 25. Ignace is charged with attempted murder arising from the 1995 RCMP siege on Shuswap traditionalists and supporters defending sacred Sundance grounds at Ts'peten (Gustafsen Lake).
One witness, a Ph.d. specialist in assessment and educational psychology, said she had never assessed anyone with results as low as Joseph Ignace. She rated his IQ at 38 and judged his mental and memory skills equivalent to that of a 6 year old.
Dr. Christine Lauk testified that Jo-Jo also showed "indications of severe mental deterioration" due to the "circumstances of his incarceration." Ignace Jr. was beaten, heavily medicated, and kept in solitary confinement during much of his incarceration, which ended only recently.
Dr. Lauk said she was "alarmed" at the condition of Ignace when she visited him in jail and related how JoJo told her of his attempted suicide. She further revealed under questioning from self represented defendant OJ Pitawanakwat that JoJo could be "led into or manipulated into giving answers" at the prompting of the interrogator. Earlier testimony established that RCMP subjected JoJo to unusually long interrogations under extremely coercive conditions. Interrogators demanded he strip in front of them in a tiny, closed space, and told him his lawyer was unavailable when he repeatedly asked for counsel.
Wool has already shown that it is likely JoJo was at home in Chase, far away from Ts'peten, on August 18, the day it is alleged he fired at a "covert probe" of heavily armed men in camouflage who were later identified as an RCMP Emergency Response Team. The probable targeting of JoJo for "special" treatment is thought to have been an attempt to break the spirit of his father Wolverine (William Ignace), who remains in custody without bail.
On Monday, the jailed native rights lawyer Dr. Bruce Clark will continue his testimony at the longest and costliest trial in Canadian history. Denied access to Clark as his lawyer, Wolverine has called his counsel of choice as a witness.
FREE WOLVERINE! FREE THE TS'PETEN DEFENDERS! FREE DR.BRUCE CLARK!
---------DEMAND A PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE GUSTAFSEN LAKE AFFAIR---------
=====AND THE NDP GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN IT: SILENCE IS COMPLICITY=======
Sample letters and links to politicians' email are on the Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty (S.I.S.I.S.) site, at:
http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/gustlake/letter.htmlPlease send a copy of your letter to S.I.S.I.S.
Splitting the Sky - Phone/Fax: (604) 543-9661Ts'peten Legal Defence Team:
Bill Lightbown - Phone: (604) 251-4949
Manuel Azevedo, phone: (604) 687-0231, fax: (604) 687-0241Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
Margaret Clark, c/o phone: (604) 687-0231, fax: (604) 687-0241
PO Box 8673, Victoria, BC Canada V8X 3S2
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com