Aug 30/95: Gustafsen Lake-AG says immunity impossible


Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, August 30, 1995, Page A3
Justine Hunter - Sun Legislature Bureau

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]

VICTORIA -- The RCMP has no authority to strike a deal with the rebels at Gustafsen Lake that involves lesser charges for criminal acts, Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh said Tuesday.

"There can be no immunity from prosecution, there can be no bargaining away of the right to prosecute," Dosanjh told reporters. "That will not be tolerated by the attorney-general."

Dosanjh insisted the government is putting nothing on the table in the talks Tuesday between police and the renegade group of armed native Indians and their supporters who are holed up at a camp on private land near 100 Mile House.

"There have been no negotiations between this government and the rebels on the question of immunity from prosecution or any other issues. What youhave going on is a classic police operation where they are trying to talk to these individuals to surrender peacefully and give themselves up," Dosanjh said.

The police have agreed to bring tobacco, cigarettes and canned goods to the natives in discussions by radio phone between the rebel leaders, police negotiators and national aboriginal leader Ovide Mercredi.

The squatters, who have been condemned by local native Indian leaders, have demanded amnesty an an international tribunal to adjudicate their claim to the ranch land.

"The RCMP will do whatever is necessary -- within reason -- to try to encourage all of the individuals in the camp to give themselves up to the protection of the police so the due process of law can take place," Dosanjh said.

"That may include giving them some food, that may include giving them some cigarettes...There may be nothing on the table in the end. Certainly there can be no deals on amnestry from prosecution. There can be no deals on the question of ownership of that land."

Dosanjh said he is more hopeful for a peaceful end to the standoff with the police and rebels talking again Tuesday. "I see that as a very positive development."

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